Monday, January 12, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of Jan. 4 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome to Last Week in TV. I totally forgot that last week was this column's one-year anniversary so I wanted to take time to thank everyone who has read and commented. I really appreciate you. You have made the experience engaging and oh so much fun. We have been through countless new shows, happy renewals (The 100 season 3? Oh yeah!), and devastating cancellations (poor Enlisted) together. There have been 384 nominations in the two seasons, with 85 different shows last season and 43 so far this time. I thank you for these because I've gotten to know some shows I would never have tried and I hope you have as well. Mostly though, thank you for welcoming my opinions and discussing your own, especially when they aren't the same. I love talking TV with you. So thanks again for being a part of Last Week in TV and know that it brings me much joy to be in this community.

Now on to the show where the TV season is in full swing again. Not only have most of my non-CW shows returned but there were also several new shows, including my pick for the best episode of the week. For the most part, this was a good TV week for me. Sadly though, I have dropped Sleepy Hollow as much as I possibly can so it will no longer be reviewed here. (The podcast and Best Scene polls remain until season 2 ends or I find someone to take over them.) I am too frustrated with all its wasted potential and now wish for the 3 main characters to die to make the show instantly better. In other words, I'm too bitter about the plot choices and terrible characterization to put any more effort into it than I have to. Other than that, it was a typical week in TV for me. How was yours? Did you get anything off your TV to-do list? I now have finishing The Missing, Vikings, and The Honourable Woman on the top of mine. Psych, which is this week's nominated show, is on there as well. Anything else I should add? Don't forget to nominate it. It's a simple 2 question form you can fill out below. Next week's nominated episode will be the series premiere of Blue Bloods. Just a reminder that all nominations are randomly selected by a number generator so if yours hasn't been chosen yet, it is not because I don't want to watch it. Until next time, many happy TV returns to you.

Show of the Week:

Galavant - 1.01/ 1.02 - Pilot / Joust Friends

This was my favorite show / for the whole week or so / You need to get to know / Galavant
The characters are fun / King Richard's #1 / The laughter's just begun / on Galavant
A- / I laughed so hard that my whole side hurt
This is like my TV dessert
Yes, Galavant is best / Much better than the rest / Of shows this week was Galavant

When exposition's sung / It makes it twice as fun/ Although not for the young / PG-13 rated
The dialogue is sharp / With wit and lots of snark / More fun than really dark / But oh so jaded
Still the twists are what make this show so great
Surprise and laughter will not abate
Plus everyone can sing / So hurrah for this thing / Thank ABC for Galavant
One tiny problem / Soon will appear
The songs are so catchy they'll stick in your ear
Soon you'll be singing / People will stare
So / You really need to know / 'Fore giving it a go /
I think that I'm addicted to this show

So it is time to end / Just go and watch it, friend / Let's start a New Year's trend / of Galavant
Then you'll be singing too / You'll thank me when you're through / At least look on YouTube / for Galavant
Now that I am done with all my fawning / Trust me now you won't be yawning
So / Sit back; enjoy the show / And then please let me know / all your thoughts on Galavant

Check out the theme song here or here
She'll Be Mine
Maybe You're Not the Worst Thing Ever
Jacka** in a Can

Grade: A-
Ranking - 5
Audience - anyone who doesn't mind musicals and loves snark

Best Reason to Watch - the lyrics every time they sing
Best Character - King Richard, who cracks me up with his total incompetence
Best Action - Isabella gets Galavant back into hero shape
Best Twist - the fair maiden turns her back on true love for fame and fortune and a roll in the hay with a jester / Isabella is playing Galavant too
Best Reference - signpost says Winterfell from Game of Thrones / the wonky Rocky theme music playing in the background of the swordfight training
The "Welcome Back" Award - Timothy Omundson, most famously from Psych but also Cain in Supernatural / Mallory Jansen from Young & Hungry / John Stamos who will always be Uncle Jesse to me
Most Hilariously Pathetic / Worst Sporting Event Ever - the joust between one man too sore to move and the other so bosky he vomits
Most Obnoxious - Chef feeding King Richard turns my stomach too, Madalena / Jean's terrible humor
Best Reason for Musicals - exposition in song is somehow a whole lot more fun
Best Song - "She'll be Mine" / "Maybe You're Not the Worst Thing Ever"
Worst Jokes - Jester knock-knock jokes and Knight "your mama" jokes are so second grade
Worst Prize - Madalena, who about 3 minutes after meeting everyone should want to give back
Biggest Anachronism - Galavant says, "You can't fight genetics."
Sweetest Gesture - Gareth tries to help King Richard man up
Best Back Story - Gareth killed his father via a hug / Richard and his old servant, Pearl
Best Eye Candy - Galavant cooling off
Biggest Ouch - Madalena tells Richard that the only reason Pearl could stand him is because his parents paid her to
Best Quotes - 1.01 -
1. Richard: "Look. Here's the thing. My wife really wants that jewel of yours. Now I know at times she can come off as a bit….um, what's the word?" King: "Evil." Queen: "Cruel." Richard: "No, that's not it. It's more…" King: "Sadistic." Queen: "Vicious." Richard: "Yeah, I think you really just have to get to know her." Gareth: "She can be a b**."
2. Galavant: "So when it inevitably happened, when I fell…" Isabella: "You fell hard." Galavant: "I fell hard." Isabella: "And her?" Galavant: "Um, she fell softer as it turns out."
3. King: "The jewel of Valencia is priceless." Richard: "I know. I know." King: "It's the symbol of Valencia. It belongs not to us but to our people for thousands of years." Richard: "Totally understand. Totally empathize. Can I have it?"
4. Richard: "I've tried to be kind to you, have I not?" King of Valencia: "You pillaged our peaceful kingdom, killed half our army." Richard: "But I haven't killed you. Think about it."
5. Galavant: "Can I buy you a drink?" Isabella: "NO." Galavant: "Good, you can buy me one."
Best Quotes - 1.02 -
1. Galavant: "And I ride to save my one true love." Sid: "Though she ripped your heart in two." Galavant: "Not true." Sid: "Pretty true." Isabella: "Very true." Galavant: "To destroy the king she was forced to wed." Isabella: "More like chose to wed." Galavant: "Not true." Isabella: "Kind of true." Sid: "I've got to say it's pretty true."
2. Isabella: "And how do plan on paying for anything, hmm? We have a priceless jewel we can't spend and a 6-foot hero we can't eat."
3. Syd: "So are we keeping the rooster or eating the rooster? Cause I'm not naming him if we're eating him."
4. Galavant, huffing and puffing: "Oh my tummy hurts. That was a long song."
5. Isabella: "Any man can get knocked down. The hero's the man who gets back up."

Nominated Show:

Psych - 7.05 - 100 Clues

While I never really got into Pysch, I did always like it when I caught it randomly on USA Network. It was perpetually on my to-watch list but never near enough to the top for me to watch it. Last season it was nominated and had me rolling, but again I just didn't have time to watch more. This episode exemplifies what Psych is to me. It's a silly, fun, campy show with great 80's references that never met a gimmick it didn't adore, exalt, and exploit. In this case it allowed the audience to choose who the murderer was so there is an east coast and west coast version. I watched both and preferred the west coast version by the way. This has been a favorite device for me since I first saw The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the theatre and became my favorite part of the episode. Mostly though it is an homage to the movie Clue, which I have only seen bits and pieces of. Therefore I know several of the jokes went right over my head. What really worked though was bringing back Leslie Ann Warren, Martin Mull, and Christopher Lloyd as suspects because they were also in the original movie. Oh if they could have only gotten Tim Curry too. In a special touch, they gave several shout-outs and dedicated the episode to Madeline Kahn, another actress in the movie who died of cancer in 1999. Psych is not a show I think I could marathon. The over-the-top campiness and the immature lead characters would drive me crazy if I watched too much at once, but I could definitely see me watching it a couple of times a week and laughing like crazy. Now if I only had more time.

Grade: B
Ranking - 4
Audience - anyone who likes campy fun with immature but fun-loving characters

Best Reason to Watch - multiple endings make for multiple fun / the overall laugh-inspiring gags
Best Title Card Sequence - it's a special sequence because they added Clue cards into it
Least Stealthy - Shawn and Gus don't even attempt to hide the fact that they are putting candy in their pockets
The "Welcome Back" Award - Steve Valentine from Crossing Jordan and a lot more recent things
Best Casting - Leslie Ann Warren, Martin Mull, and Christopher Lloyd from the original movie
Goofiest Moment - the chocolate dance
Worst Idea - a doorbell that sounds like someone screaming
Best Visual Gags - all the stuff people are carrying to protect themselves from the killer (food torch, lance, paintball gun, saxophone, sword, and chain)
Best References - Lionel Ritchie, Roland Emmerich, Alice Cooper, Dead heads, "Great Scott!", Curt Smith of Tears for Fears, and Clue of course
Best Quotes -
1. Juliet: "You know what? I don't care. I'm going to wear my one-of-a-kind, vintage Oscar de la Renta dress." Shawn: "Wait a minute. That guy boxes and designs dresses? That's just plain impressive."
2. Kahn: "Hi, Martin Kahn. Harvard." Lassiter: "Carlton Lassiter, shut up."
3. Gus: "Man, I knew they were going to stick the two black dudes together. This either ends with us dead or in jail." Clizby: "Man, why do you have to buy into all those black stereotypes?" Gus: "Says the black butler." Clizby: "Touché, my brother."
4. Gus: "You tell me where that Chocolate Room is right now or I will kill you myself."

New Shows:

Agent Carter - 1.01/1.02 - Pilot / Bridge and Tunnel

2014 - 2015 seems to be the year of the strong female in TV and Agent Carter adds pleasantly to the list. A tough, capable, yet overlooked in her time period superspy, Carter stands in the company of other kick butt characters, like May of SHIELD. In fact, she reminds me of a cross between May and Nancy Drew, which works well. If May is almost always used only as the muscle (much to my chagrin), Carter is the tactician as well. She's unafraid to go headlong into danger but smart enough to plan first. I can see why they chose her to be the first big TV female lead in this decade's superhero renaissance. I also like the historical element of it, although it remains to be seen how that will play over time. The debut ratings were good so that's a positive sign. Overall I thought it was a decent, albeit a tad slow in the middle, premiere of an excellent character. I look forward to seeing more of Agent Carter, Jarvis, and Sousa in the future.

Grade: B
Ranking - 5
Audience - anyone who likes superhero stories or strong female roles

TV formula - SHIELD's history + Oliver Queen - his douchiness = Agent Carter

Best Reason to Watch - Carter kicks butt
Best Action - Carter takes out a guy with a stapler / rooftop fight
Best Character after Carter - Sousa, who is funny and smart
Best Back Story - Carter and Captain America were a thing
Best Use of History - women losing jobs they were good at to allow men work even if they had no experience at the job at the end of WW2
Least Surprising Twist - they found the bumper of Stark's car
Best Motivational Speaker - Jarvis
Biggest Huh? - What are vita rays? I obviously missed something by not watching the movies.
Biggest Fringe Flashback - the typewriter moving on its own
The "Welcome Back" Award - Lyndsy Fonseca, last seen kicking butt on Nikita / Ray Wise from everything including Reaper and the pilot of Burn Notice / James Frain, always the bad guy / James Urbaniak aka EvilScientistAssassin on Teen Wolf last season
Famous Last Words - Jarvis: "Oh what's the worst that can happen?"
Best Visual - Carter in her pinkish red hat in a sea of men in dull colors
Best Spy Tool - lipstick that knocks a man out and a watch that cracks safes
The "Fun with Science" Award - Carter neutralizes a bomb in the bathroom
Best Quotes - 1.01 -
1. Thompson: "If you don't mind, these surveillance reports need to be filed and you're really so much better at that kind of thing." Carter: "What kind of thing is that, Agent Thompson? The alphabet? I can teach you. Let's start with words beginning with A."
2. Sousa: "Poor guy, I heard he got his personality shot off in Iwo Jima."
3. Sousa: "You know, after I get hit…uh, at the field hospital, the chaplain asked me was there anybody I wanted to send my effects to should, you know, the worst happen. I told him I didn't think my dad had much use for two pairs of green socks and an old paperback. Let him remember my life, you know. Of course I didn't die, which was inconvenient 'cause the chaplain had already trashed my footlocker. Still missing half my stuff. I can't find my leg anywhere."
4. Carter: "Is he a regular?" Angie: "Yeah but a regular what, I'm not allowed to say that on the clock."
5. O'Brien: "You know there's a difference between being an independent woman and a spinster." Carter: "Is it the shoes?"
Best Quotes - 1.02 -
1. Chief: "Do I even need to ask?" McFee: "Ask what?" Chief: "Yeah I guess you're right. I used to strap a chair to my a** too and take long walks around the neighborhood too."
2. Jarvis: "There is not a man or woman, no matter how fit he or she may be, who is capable of carrying the entire world on their shoulders."
3. Thompson: "There's a chance this is an inside job." Jones: "Yeah, there's a chance I take Rita Hayworth home tonight but it's unlikely if you catch my drift."
4. Carter: "Whitby's Prospect, third race." Sousa: "Are you sure?" Carter: "Not at all. That's why they call it gambling."
5. Thompson: "Last time I checked, stone and wood don't carry a magnetic charge." Krzeminski: "Well excuse me, Sir Isaac Newton." Thompson: "That's gravity, you dumb ape."

Empire - 1.01 - Pilot

This is not my kind of show. I prefer shows where I can root for at least some of the characters, and I can already tell this won't be that show. Still, it has an intensity that grabs you by the throat and won't let you look away. Part of it is the stellar cast. Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard are mesmerizing in every scene and sizzle when they are together. They play exes determined to take each other down, no matter the cost. I would not bet against Cookie but there's no way I would start a war with Lucious either. By series end, there might not be anyone left standing…except Andre, the sociopathic eldest son who is manipulating them all. Unless his wife takes him out on the way to the top. Let's just say that backstabbing runs in the family, as does murder. While I find the characters fascinating, the pace was a little slow. They spent much of the pilot setting up the characters and central conflict, so hopefully the pacing will pick up as we delve into their world.

Grade: B+
Ranking - 5
Audience - anyone who likes gritty drama with a lot of attitude

TV formula - (Gang Related - the cop angle and cartel) + Dallas' family drama and power struggles + Power's lead character

Best Reason to Watch - the acting
The Welcome Back / Biggest Change - Taraji P. Henson, whose Cookie is about as far from Detective Carter of Person of Interest as you can get. Well except they are both strong, determined women.
Biggest Ouch - Lucious says that he never wanted his son Jamal
Best Smack Down - Cookie goes to town on her disrespectful son (and I cheer)
Most Cold / Most Manipulative - not sure if it is Andre or his wife but those two would murder you if you got in their way
Saddest/Most Shocking Moment - Jamal sings about never being good enough and flashes back to his father throwing him in the garbage can as a kid
Best Collaboration - surprisingly Jamal and Hakeem make a good team
Least Surprising - Lucious kills his bodyguard, Bunky
Best Quotes -
1. Lucious: "Now it won't happen today nor tomorrow, but I will start grooming someone soon and it can only be one of you." Jamal: "What is this? We…we King Lear now?"
2. Cookie: "I'm here to get what's mine."
3. Lucious: "Are you out of your damn mind? I told you I was going to hook you up." Cookie: "And I'm telling you that's not enough. I want Jamal too." Lucious: "You can't have him." Cookie: "You're messing with the wrong b**, Lucious."
4. Hakeem: "I'm working on new stuff now and you know that." Lucious: "You ain't worked a day in your life and you know that. You're spoiled."
5. Cookie: "Listen to me. You different, okay. It's only something mama knows, but it's gonna make life hard for you sometimes. But I want you to always remember, I got you. You hear me? Come here. I got you, okay?"

Hindsight - 1.01 - Pilot

Hindsight has the bones of a great nostalgic comedy but it's trapped in a 3 day Jell-O shot bender of regret and waffling. In other words, it needs to pick up the pace. A full two-thirds of the episode is spent trying to decide if the main character wants to marry 2 totally different guys. Somewhere about the 25 minute mark I no longer cared and that's not a good sign for a pilot. It also doesn't help that some of the secondary characters already try my patience. Still, the end of the pilot looks promising and I love a woman who stands up for herself. Plus the TV graveyard is full of shows that vastly improved after their premieres so it gets 2 more episodes from me before I decide whether to continue or not.

Grade: C
Ranking - I'll give it 2 more episodes
Audience - nostalgia lovers with a romantic side?

TV formula - 13 Going on 30 + existential crisis + half the romantic comedies ever written + Spice Girls

Best Reason to Watch - to get in touch with your younger self and laugh at the things you did too
Best Relationship - Becca and her brother, Jamie
The "Welcome Back" Award - Woo hoo! It is Jessy Hodges, who played Erin on Enlisted. I really miss that show. Also Laura Ramsey, most recently seen slapping Neal on White Collar
The "I Don't Think a Watch Goes Back That Far" Award - Becca looks at her watch to determine that she hasn't spoken to Lolly in 10 years.
Best Nostalgia - Pretty in Pink and the music
Worst Nostalgia - OJ Simpson trial
Best Quotes -
1. Becca: "What if I hadn't become a doormat for my difficult boss? What if I had kept my mouth shut and not accidentally destroyed my friendship with Lolly? What if I could get back all those hours I wasted watching Melrose Place?"
2. Becca: "Somewhere in this box of demented pixie, rockabilly, lumberjack clothes is a perfect outfit."
3. Becca: "I know he was dorky but he got cute. The same thing happens to Patrick Dempsey."
4. Becca: "Maybe it doesn't have to be perfect. Maybe if you try to be perfect, you miss everything, the moments in between. For what?"
5. Becca: "Great news. My mother thinks I'm a failure." Andy: "Your mother loves you." Becca: "In her own unique way. Apparently like Darth Vader loved Luke. Can we uninvite her to the wedding?"

Weekly Shows:

The Librarians - 1.06 - And the Fables of Doom

I am a sucker for fractured fairytales so I anticipated this episode more than any of the others so far. I thought this take on an old story was interesting, although it didn't top Supernatural's Bedtime Stories for me. The archetypes chosen were odd and this is the second time in a row that Ezekiel saves the day by being his douchey self, but his interactions with Jamie were fantastic. I also loved seeing Jenkins out in the field and hope that continues. For a more thorough review, please see the roundtable review.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - fractured fairy tales rock
Best Action - fight at the library
Best Surprise - Jenkins joins them in the field this time
Worst Liar - Baird gets stumped when trying to concoct a story for the local police
Biggest Douche - the truck driver who almost hits a construction worker
Best Plan - using a fire extinguisher to show the fingerprint
The "Welcome Back" Award - Rene Auberjonois from Benson, Deep Space Nine, and Warehouse 13
Best Teacher - Ezekiel shows Jamie how to pick locks
The "I'm Cool with It" Award - Jake can continue to hold Cassandra's betrayal against her forever
Most in Need of a Muzzle - Ezekiel, who I like much better when he's not talking
Most Enthusiastic - Jake every time they move through the portal
Best Book Promo - Artemis Fowl and Hunger Games
Best Librarian Reference - Spear of Destiny
Best Fairy Tale References - Bremen and Figaro
Best Quotes -
1. Jenkins, about the vending machine: "I adore these. It's like a miniature apartment building, and when you hit the right numbers , the occupant of your choice leaps to its death and becomes your snack." Baird: "You don't get out much, do you?"
2. Ezekiel: "Alright, it's time to stop the crazy."
3. Jamie: "Dad, who are those people?" Heyer: "They're librarians, honey." Jamie: "Librarians?" Heyer: "Wow, now that I say that out loud that does not make any sense at all. Not a lick."
4. Jenkins: "And if indeed it is a troll you're facing, well it's not been nice knowing you per se." Baird: "How do we fight a troll?" Jenkins: "You don't. You flee or you die quickly."
5. Ezekiel: "Hey, it was your plan." Jake: "I was being sarcastic." Ezekiel: "Subtext is very hard with you." Jake: "I don't have any subtext."

Scorpion - 1.13 - Kill Screen

I knew coming in that this episode was not going to take my breath away in anticipation like the last episode did. Still, for me, Ralph and the family drama is the weakest link in this show. I know that's odd for me because I usually enjoy family relationships best, but any relationship designed simply to force drama where none is needed tries my patience. What I did really like was Paige's reaction to a gaming convention and the outing of Sylvester's alter ego. Both made me laugh. Toby also retained his crown as King of Snark, yet I love how they are expanding his role a bit more each episode. Having him save the young programmer's life was a nice touch and prove that he is an asset in more than profiling. While this episode might have lacked the urgency of a typical episode and once again it came down to Walter taking on the bad guy (seriously getting old, writers), at least it required him to depend on Ralph for once.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the extra motivation that the victim being Ralph provides
Best Character - Toby
Most Funny - young Sylvester dances his victory
Best MacGyver - Toby uses tampons and jumper cables
Most Uncomfortable - Cabe standing outside a convention, holding all the team's tech and wallets
Biggest Oops - Walter teaches Ralph how to get to the dark internet and suddenly the Department of Justice is hauling in the kid in connection with 2 agents getting killed
Best Use of a Battleaxe - Cabe waylays a running suspect with a prop from one of the attendees
Best Plan - Toby gets the others to take off the Red Riding Hood capes by telling them that there is a ticket in one of them
The "I've Got to Agree" Award - I like the Scorpion team, but Drew has some valid points about Ralph
Biggest Ego - usually this is always Walter's domain, but young Sylvester nicknamed himself El Guapo, meaning the handsome one, although he's probably referencing the comic book character
Best Quotes -
1. Toby: "I'm rocking so much adrenaline right now, my blood's basically Red Bull."
2. Sylvester: "It took me like 15 minutes to crack." Toby: "An eternity."
3. Toby: "30 kills in 30 seconds on a game no one's played in 10 years?" Lady: "That's the rule, Grandpa. I didn't make it." Toby: "Grandpa? I'm 32."
4. Paige: "I've seen pictures of these conventions. They don’t do them justice." Happy: "World's largest gathering of virgins."
5. Sylvester: "I heard you held up like a champ. Better than my first arrest….that was inappropriate."

State of Affairs - 1.07 - Bellerophon

In many ways this is a hurry up and wait episode, designed to set the final push into motion. Much of what happens is talk and forward progress is stopped in the middle in order to lead to more forward progress later on. It's the very definition of a gateway episode. What it does do is get everyone on the same playing field. Charlie's secrets are all out now. Nick is free to walk into someone's plan again. The consequences have fallen. Here's hoping the final 3 episodes are worth the buildup.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - things are heating up for the final 3 episodes
Best Scene - Nick and Charlie maneuver through the Yemen checkpoint
Most Intense / Biggest Shock - Charlie comes clean to PotUS about Fatah
Best Reaction - Charlie's co-workers to hearing that Fatah is an asset of hers
Biggest Douche - Kyle, who has grown even more annoying than Lucas and that's saying a lot
Biggest Stretch - I don't think someone could get all the way into the White House like that. Jump the fence, maybe. But tagging the Oval Office seems like a huge stretch.
Biggest Huh - Who leaves a mental patient unwatched? Of course the guy committed suicide.
Best Decision? - PotUS calls off the attack to allow Charlie a chance to get the top terrorist
Biggest Question - How did anyone know what room Charlie was going to be at so they could get Nick a room key there too? She only told the President that morning.
Best Quotes -
1. Navaro: "The department has been designated Bellerophon." Dash: "The guy who rode Pegasus." Lucas: "That was Perseus." Dash: "In the movie. Read the book."
2. PotUS: "You created the man who killed Aaron. You ran him for 3 years and never even thought to tell me that. You were nearly my daughter-in-law. You cannot comprehend the depth of betrayal I feel from you."
3. Nick: "So do we wait for bullets to start flying or do we pop open the champagne? Oh wait, that's right. We're in Yemen."
4. Givens: "People always show up when it's time to kill someone."
5. PotUS: "You swore to me you would find the people responsible for Aaron's death and kill every last one of them. You broke my heart, Charleston. Don't break your promise."

Forever - 1.12 - The Wolves of Deep Brooklyn

I feel like I always repeat myself, but I love the dynamic between Abe and Henry. In this case, the flashbacks to Abe as a young man determined to serve his country and Henry determined to keep him safe made for some beautiful scenes. It's times like these that I wish the present day case didn't take so much time so that we could delve further into the back story. In fact, I wish we had an entire episode completely told in flashbacks. Other than that, it was also good to meet some of Abe's former army buddies in the present day and I love the continuity of Henry struggling to deal with killing a man. It seems hard to believe that he never has before but they did a good job of showing how even someone who has lived for centuries can be deeply affected by his circumstances.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Abe's Vietnam back story
Most Intense - Jo confronts Henry about his tendency to put himself in harm's way
Best Scene / Best Flashback / Biggest Awww Moment - Henry says goodbye to Abe as he heads to the army
The "Welcome Back" Award - Clarke Peters from Person of Interest
Worst Plan - Abe decides to investigate on his own
The "Liar, Liar" Award - Jo covers from Henry when he is acting suicidal to her
Best Continuity - Henry is suffering from a little PTSD after killing the guy in the midseason finale
Best Quotes -
1. TeenAbe: "You're just afraid." Henry: "Of course I am." TeenAbe: "And so am I. but what you don't understand…maybe you can't understand is that risking your life for something you believe in is a blessing, not a curse."
2. Washington: "Well detective, it seems you would have a choice. My analysis, which will wrap up the case by the end of the day, or Dr. Morgan's stew of suppositions and suggestions which will lead to paperwork and insanity." Jo: "You feeling okay, Henry?" Henry: "I'm fine, thank you." Jo: "I choose insanity. Welcome back, Henry."
3. Val: "Jason was…he'll be missed." Jo: "Apparently not by him."
4. Henry: "I'm sorry. Did you say that you stole these files from Clausten's boat?" Jerry: "Not stole. Liberated."
5. Henry: "You are indeed capable of making your own choices as I was at your age. You've reminded me of that and of how loving someone means supporting them even if it scares you to do so. Especially then. I love you."
6. Henry, about a rat dying: "Tragic." Abe: "No, not really."
7. Abe: "Our options? The only name on this letter is mine and the only option I'm considering is serving my country like you two did."

The Goldbergs - 2.10 - DannyDonnieJoeJonJordan

New Kids on the Block brings up bad flashbacks for me so getting through part of this episode was hard. Still The Goldbergs definitely have The Right Stuff (although now Weird Al's version, The White Stuff, is on constant repeat in my head.) I can always count on an awww moment at the end, usually from Murray who has become my favorite character. Poor guy tries so hard and ends up being a pushover most of the time. This was no exception. I also like Erica working hard to make up for bullying her brothers.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the aww moments at the end
Worst Reason to Watch - bad New Kids on the Block flashbacks
Best Scene - Murray shows Beverly that he put everything back in the garage and then hangs up Erica's artwork
Best Shot - Erica has a framed picture of her brothers and her at the concert by her bed
Most Embarrassing - both videos would do it and quite frankly, the outtakes of the real video too
Best Awww Moment - Murray searches for the artwork at the dump
Strangest Moment - Barry and Adam start arguing over the guys from New Kids on the Block / Pops and Murray try to replicate kid art
Smartest Plan They Didn't Use - Don’t they still have that sweet pad Beverly made for Pops before he chose to live elsewhere? Why not use that as Beverly's room to keep everything and leave the garage for the car?
The "Welcome Back" Award - Chad Kremp, who has been missing from this show for too long
Best Character - Murray, it's almost always Murray
Worst Sibling - Erica, who takes torturing her siblings to a whole new level…a kind of sociopathic one
Grossest Moment - Barry shows off his weird fingers
Worst Time to Debate - Murray and Pops debate who's getting the car until it's too late to catch the truck
Most Creeped Out - the storage guy, who probably thinks Beverly is a serial killer now
Most Likely to Become an English Teacher - at least Chad knows what a parody is
Worst Decision - I would counter that the worst decision was not to hide the fan tape under Adam's bed. I would say it was making it to begin with.
Best Quotes -
1. Barry: "She got away with all our ammo." Adam: "Not all of it." Barry: "How?" Adam: "Sleight of hand. And you thought magic camp was for dorks." Barry: "I still do, but good work."
2. Barry: "You showed that video to all my friends and the girl of my dreams." Adam: "And my girlfriend. I can only take so many hits like that before she comes to her senses and dumps me."
3. Murray: "That's it. I'm cleaning this whole place out." Erica: "No, where am I going to hide my six pack of….homework." Barry: "And the magazines I'm holding for a friend." Murray: "Hide it in the woods like every other kid."
4. Beverly: "Did you know that Albert Einstein's first macaroni necklace just sold for over 1 million dollars?" Murray: "Einstein, huh? Which child would that be?"
5. Beverly: "How do you not feel anything?" Murray: "I'll tell you how and it's simple. Our children are not talented." Beverly: "You're a monster."
6. Adam: "Oh no, for years our stupid life choices and physical awkwardness has given you ammo to humiliate us but no more."

The Musketeers - 2.02 - An Ordinary Man

This is a Louis-centric episode, which means it is destined to not be a favorite. Besides D'Artagnan and Constance's shenanigans, I dislike King Louis the most. He does little to change that here. He is a complete moron and a selfish prat for most of the time. Yes, I did like his stories about missing his father but they do little to make up for his childishness. If this ordeal made him change then I would give the episode leeway, but the end made it clear that this is not the case. Therefore I have little patience learning the background of a character I despise when I could have gotten Porthos' back story. As always though, the fight scenes were magnificent and the politics intriguing. Rochefort is fascinating and should make a much better bad guy than the Cardinal. He has the same level of manipulation and less of the annoying egomaniac. Perhaps it's his circumstances, but I am heartily enjoying this change.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the action
Best Scene - the Musketeers go to Madame Pepin's place and give her the money they pitched in and then give credit to the King for it
Best Punch - surprisingly it is Louis revealing himself as King and punching out Sebastian
Best Played - Rochefort takes a tough situation and at every turn plays it smart. He defers to the Musketeers and somewhat publicly defends them so he can't be accused of working against them. He apologizes to Constance when he realizes she has sway with the queen. He also uses the king's disappearance to create a power shift away from the Musketeers. Smart!
Best Use of Stage Theatrics - Milady fakes fainting to fall into the King's arms and he in turn pardons all her crimes, not knowing who she is
Best Veiled Threat - Rochefort puts Constance in her place for calling him out in front of the queen
Most Gullible - Sebastian who falls for Milady's trickery without question
Biggest Idiot - King Louis, who provokes locals at a tavern with his insensitivity / Aramis, who can't stay away from the baby
The "Welcome Back" Award - Milady de Winter, it is nice to see your treacherous heart back. You add so much to the episodes you're in.
Biggest Transfer of Power - Queen Anne relies on Rochefort over Treville to find the King
Biggest Mistake - King Philip's ambassador should start listening to Rochefort before he finds himself dead / Anne writes to her brother
Best Entrance - Milady with horses for the king and D'Artagnan
Best Quotes -
1. Pepin: "If we are to die, this is how I want it to be - by my King's side, fighting again for our freedom, not in the belly of some ship."
2. Milady: "I thought you'd never stop running."
3. Anne: "How could your men have allowed this?" Treville: "The king was adamant he experience Paris as a commoner." Anne: "Then they should have made clear to him the utter stupidity of his suggestion."
4. King: "It is not the hardship of the galleys that I dread the most. It is a life apart from my son."
5. Milady: "Think of me as a Good Samaritan." Louis: "An angel more like."

Elementary - 3.09 - The Eternity Injection

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Sherlock and Watson are finally getting back on the same page
Best Scene - Kitty tells Sherlock and Joan to back off while they watch her pick the lock
Best Awww Scene - Sherlock tells Watson about why he's missing meetings
Worst Reference - Twilight trilogy, although I think it's funny that they have Sherlock solving a fan fiction question
Worst Favoritism - Sherlock only wakes Joan up from sleep, not Kitty. Lucky Kitty.
Most Focused - Dr. Kirk is okay with going to prison as long as someone publishes his research
Best Move - Kitty gave Watson a key so she doesn't have to break in each time
Best Friend - Joan Watson, who doesn't judge Sherlock but instead asks what she can do to help
The "Welcome Back" Award - Alfredo, Mason, and Everyone
Best Quotes -
1. Watson: "Are you going to wake up, Kitty?" Sherlock: "Of course not. I am a courteous housemate."
2. Joan: "Wait a minute. Are you guys researching the Twilight books?"
3. Watson: "How are you?" Sherlock: "Well my heart rate is normal for a man my age and my blood pressure is good to excellent last time I checked. You know better than to ask me such a non-specific question. What are you getting at?"
4. Bell: "I'm just saying you're putting a lot of faith in a guy behind at least 3 homicides."
5. Sherlock: "Sobriety is simply a grind. It's just this leaky faucet which requires constant maintenance and in return offers only not to drip." Watson: "You have your work, you have me, you're alive."
6. Joan: "Everyone never gets tired of embarrassing you, do they?" Sherlock: "Humiliation is the favorite currency of the hacker."

TBBT - 8.12 - The Space Probe Disintegration

This was a surprisingly deep episode of The Big Bang Theory, touching on God and compromise and the nature of friendship. Yes, there were still laughs but a lot of the episode was serious and there was even a bit of character growth from Sheldon as he slowly accepts that things are going to change. I also loved how they touched on Penny and Amy's relationship and showed how much everyone takes Amy for granted. It created a good balance among the characters.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - character interactions
Best Scene - Penny and Amy come out to find Sheldon and Leonard crying over their friendship
Best Reaction - Leonard to Sheldon saying that he compromises
The "You Win Some, You Lose Some" Award - Sheldon agrees to let Leonard sleep over at Penny's one night a week but sadly that means Sheldon is sleeping over there too
Best Quotes -
1. Amy: "I promised myself if I ever got friends, I'd do whatever they said. Really I'm lucky you found me before a cult did."
2. Amy: "There's a craft and folk art museum on Wiltshire." Penny: "Well that's Wiltshire's problem."
3. Raj: "Even Einstein was famous for attacking quantum theory on the grounds that God does not play dice with the universe." Howard: "Well of course he believed in God. He slept with Marilyn Monroe." Raj: "Actually there's no proof of that." Howard: "Buh…you believe in your religion. I'll believe in mine."
4. Howard: "So in addition to being crazy, you're arresting the fate of the mission on your athletic prowess." Raj: "Yes." Howard: "The man who crashed his stationary bike."
5. Penny: "Not really a great outfit for work unless something opens up in the Hookers and Whores Division."

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