Monday, March 2, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of Feb. 22 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Hello and welcome back to Last Week in TV. I hope you had a good TV week. Sweeps are now over so it is time for limited series to end so others can premiere. This week we say goodbye to How to Get Away with Murder and Agent Carter. Both of which were highlights, but sadly only one is likely to return. I will miss Agent Carter and the awesome Hayley Atwell. Speaking of finales, the nominated episode was the How I Met Your Mother two-part series finale. In all honesty, it isn't fair to judge a long running show by its finale because they tend to be full of Easter eggs to its fans that casual viewers miss. That's how I felt in this one. I was also perplexed by its pacing and format so know that I have seen better episodes of the show. If you would like to nominate a show for review, simply fill in the two questions below. As always, nominees are chosen by random number generator. Next week will be The Shield pilot. I have heard great things about this show, but I am really not into antiheroes so I'm a little nervous. Check back next week to see how I fared. Until then, happy viewing and don't forget to leave your own episode awards for this week in the comments below.

Show of the Week:

The Goldbergs - 2.14 - Barry Goldberg's Day Off

This episode did the impossible. Like the Goonies parody before it, it inspired me to watch the original movie. Unlike the Goonies parody which is based on a fantastic movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is one of my least favorite John Hughes movies ever. I liked certain segments of it, sure, but all in all I found it overrated even as a middle schooler. He's such a brat and I hate characters breaking the fourth wall. Even Barry Goldberg. Other than that minor detail, I loved this episode mostly because it somewhat shows the reality of what Ferris' day would have been like if it weren't a movie. Maître D's are hired for customer service so they aren't going to be obnoxious. Handing your keys off to a stranger is a bad plan. If you skip, you're going to be caught. But more importantly, it captured the spirit of the movie but did it in a less obnoxious way. The way they snuck in the actual lines and put a Goldbergs' spin on the most classic scenes was fantastic. I love the Charlie Sheen cameo and the meta nod to it being almost 30 years since he first had the role. Beverly reprising Rooney's attempt to sneak in made me laugh and the ending Homecoming sing-along made me cheer. Literally, even though I knew it was coming. You can't do Ferris Bueller without Twist and Shout. In the end, this was a great example of twisting nostalgia and making it something even better.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - spot on parody of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but everything is grounded in reality
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Adam and Barry fighting over who is Ferris
Best Scene - Barry has the entire school do Twist and Shout
Biggest Aww Moment - Erica convinces Barry to go to Homecoming for Laney
Best Cameo in Forever - Charlie Sheen, reprising the scene as the kid in the precinct that offers good advice
Best Nod to the Movie - Beverly does the ending credits movie scene
Most Fun - Beverly rescues Barry
Best Switch - the maitre d at the restaurant is incredibly helpful instead of snooty
Best Casting - Beverly in the role of Principal Rooney, but much better at the job
Best Comedic Acting - surprisingly it's Jeff Witzke, playing the befuddled maitre d, instead of the regulars
Easiest Escape - Barry doesn't even try to hide the fact that he's leaving but Murray doesn't see it anyway
The "Are You Nuts?" Award - Barry demands the Firebird and Pops just goes along with it. That's a sweet ride that no teen should be driving.
Most in Need of a Gibbs' Slap - Erica, who doesn't realize how much work being a mom is
Biggest Hmm - I don't remember Beverly ever wanting to be a lawyer. Not that she wouldn't be good at it because she would. She'd argue people into submission and make them agree just to get her to go away.
Best Reference - Who's the Boss, which was much better than Ferris Bueller
Best Quotes -
1. Cop: "Alright, you're free to go." Charlie Sheen: "It's about time. It feels like I've been sitting here for 30 **** years."
2. Maitre D: "Well we pride ourselves on accommodating all of our guests, so if you'll follow me." Barry: "No sir, I will not follow you. Make it difficult for us to sit." Adam: "Yeah, we need to outsmart you with our comedic shenanigans." Maitre D: "I'm sorry. I don't understand what's happening right now."
3. Beverly: "I've got to get up there and put my lips on his forehead. It's the only way to get an accurate temperature." Murray: "You can't stay away, can you? You're crazy." Beverly: "If stealing a van and trying to break into my own home so I can snuggle my boy is crazy, then I don't want to be sane." Murray: "You stole a van?" Beverly: "No time to explain. Mostly because it makes me look bad. Barry needs me."
4. Barry: "It's time I have an epic day off." Erica: "Good luck, knob. Mom will catch you in 2 seconds." Barry: "Spoken like Ferris' shockingly unlikeable sister, Jennifer Grey." Erica: "I want out of this family." Barry: "That's literally something Jennifer Grey says."
5. Pops: "Enough. You can't force a perfect day. You've got to just go out and live it the best way you can. As one else." Adam: "That's exactly what Ferris would say. Great, even our 80 year old grandfather is cooler than us."
6. Murray: "I'll go get him." Beverly: "No. Let him go. Sometimes moms need to know when to take a day off too."

Nominated Show:

How I Met Your Mother (series finale):

If I had to guess, I would say most fans did not like this finale because they married and killed off the titular mother in like 10 minutes. I found this finale meh because it wasn't funny at all and too much time passed between scenes for a casual viewer. I'm not a fan of playing couple roulette either so I have no idea why they married Robin and Barney off in the beginning if they were just going to have them divorce 3 scenes later, kill off the second marriage in what, one scene?, and then put Robin and Ted together in the last 15 seconds. They might as well have called it How I Met Your Mother and Then Screwed Your Aunt. Perhaps it was some Ross and Rachel thing where their relationship was tiresomely inevitable and they ran out of time to actually do it well. That seems like bad planning to me, but I don't know the history. Plus I'll bet I missed a lot of fan Easter eggs, although I do slightly remember the blue horn, slutty pumpkin, and the big mouse thingy. Still in the end, this comedy depressed me. The moral is we all lose sight of our best friends and grow apart in the turning of our lives. True but yikes! There's nothing funny about that. I guess if I had spent years with these characters, I would have found these scenes sweet and endearing instead of sappy and fragmented. They were literally plowing through decades of the characters' histories in 42 minutes. The season was 24 episodes long, for crying out loud. Couldn't they have broken these things up throughout season 9 instead of throwing it all in here. Like I said, it smacks of bad planning. Usually I would say that you needed to be there for the whole series to appreciate this ending, but as many long-time fans were sorely disappointed in this one I'll change it to you needed to be there and stop at the 37 minute mark. Would that work? For me this finale had a whole lot of heart, but it fell way short on laughs.

Grade: C+
Ranking - 3
Audience - people who have already Netflix-ed all of Friends

Best Reason to Watch - The show has 208 episodes. If you made it that far, you have to watch the end.
Best Voice Over - the end where Ted is talking about cherishing every moment with Tracy
Biggest Awww Scene - Barney meets his daughter
Best Reaction - Barney to Ted telling him that he has to leave
Most Intuitive - Lily, who either read the show placard or realizes before anyone else that the guitar player is the mother
Biggest Shock - Barney telling the hot girls to put more clothes on and call their parents
Best Continuity - the kids from the beginning are here in the end
Most Depressing - Robin tells Lily that she's no longer wants to be part of "the gang"
Best Resolution - Marshall only says positive things about his job
Most Distracting - the background music overshadows the dialogue in the opening scene
Most Epic - Barney and Ted's ultimate high 5
Biggest Hmm - Why did they have Barney and Robin get married at all? This makes no sense.
Best Reference - ET goodbye / Ghostbusters
Best Music - Downtown Train by Everything but the Girl
Best Quotes -
1. Barney to his newborn daughter: "You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours forever."
2. Lily: "Wow, a genuine Sherbatsky sighting, out in nature. At this point that's like seeing Sasquatch." Marshall: "No, Sasquatch is a warm and affectionate creature. At this point, Robin's more like the yeti, cold and aloof. Hey Ted, ask me if the Abominable Snowman called?" Ted: "Has the Abominable Snowman.." Marshall: "Not yeti."
3. Hot Girl: "Want to join us for shots?" Barney: "Shots before lunch on a Thursday. It's like you're trying to make bad decisions. You young ladies need to go home, put on some decent clothes, and take a good, hard look at your lives. Get, and call your parents. They're probably worried sick." Lily: "I have officially seen everything."
4. Barney: "Maybe stealing a bro's wingman is okay back in…I'm sorry. What's the name of this third world banana republic you claim to be from?" Robin: "Canada." Barney: "I've literally never heard of that place."
5. Barney: "That last girl, #31." Tracy: "Ooo, that's a pretty name. What is that, French?"

Weekly Shows:

Scorpion - 1.17 - Going South

Scorpion continues to be a bright light in my sometimes gloomy TV reviewing world. I love the way they combine action, brains, snark, and good old-fashioned family camaraderie in a fast-moving 42 minutes. Even the worst of Scorpion is better than a majority of TV for me and this episode was far from the worst. Although some of the plot was paper-thin, the interactions between the characters well made up for it. As did the pacing. I love how even when these guys fight, you know that they will be there for each other no matter what. This is a feel-good show set in modern MacGyver situations. In this episode, Happy was by far the best character. I rolled at her reaction to being kidnapped. It had the best snark of the night. I also like how she's the one to rescue the hostage and surprisingly the person who sees the most good in Paco. I liked their connection and felt shafted when they just left Paco on the side of the road. They could have at least given him a lift. Kudos also to Walter for apologizing for not thinking things through. I also like how part of his concern over Sylvester dating Megan is worry about how Sylvester will fare after Megan's death. It's a brotherly gesture and speaks to how long Sylvester and he have been friends. In the end though, nothing beats Sylvester asking Megan to dance for sure sweetness. Awww.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - the team is a family even when they don't get along
Best Awww Moment - Megan and Sylvester dance
MVP - Happy, who was snarky, action-oriented, and smart
Best Carnival Game - Cabe vs. the robot machine gun
Biggest "Say What?" Argument - Sylvester and Toby arguing about bird migration sites
Worst Timing - Sylvester tells Walter he's dating his sister right when the plan falls apart
Most Fun - Happy
Most Needed - Happy needs those CIA Spiderman gloves again
Biggest Douche - Walter thinking that interview was going to make anyone but himself happy
Least Douchey Move - Walter turns down the billionaire's think tank offer
Least Surprising - Paco ends up being a good kid
Most Surprising - I had no idea why they didn't have Paige stay in the car with Sylvester until she started speaking fluid Spanish. That's makes her more helpful than most of these guys. Did they really not use part of their big brains to learn foreign languages?
Worst Surprise - They didn't offer Paco asylum or something. All he got was a watch?
Best Dad - Cabe tells them to stow their issues and save Zoe
Best Fake Out - Toby tricks Paco into taking their ids so they can track him
Best Torture - Toby talks about itching noses knowing the cartel cannot move
Best Quotes -
1. Paco: "Who are you?" Happy: "A very embarrassed person." Paco: "What?" Happy: "I got kidnapped by a 4th grader."
2. Cabe: "So whether we walk into an ambush depends on the craftsmanship of a knock off motel cuckoo clock." Walter: "Effectively, yeah."
3. Paco: "Believe me. I've never done anything like this before." Happy: "Clearly."
4. Toby: "Unarmed, carrying $2 million in cash. I'd kill us."
5. Happy: "I hate to burst your bubble, kid, but my dad owns a failing body shop. Maybe he can give you a ratchet set."
6. Sylvester: "Why aren't I good enough for your sister? I know the obvious - my stress, my anxiety, but I'm a good person. It should count for something. It hurts me." Walter: "Sylvester, you are..uh, kind and generous and a better human being than I will ever be, but I have spent a long time preparing myself for the fact that Megan will very likely die. My research isn't going as fast as I had hoped for and I don't know if I can save her. Now I can handle the fallout, but you were not designed to process the pain that you're going to feel. Getting close to her is…is dangerous for you."

Fresh Off the Boat - 1.06 - Fajita Man

This might be my favorite episode of Fresh Off the Boat yet. I love how Louis makes Eddie work for his video game, but I like that Eddie chooses to work of the money even more. I have never found Eddie so likeable before. Plus it was good to see him so good at his job. Still Jessica, as always, stole the show. I love how she created her own job when no one was hiring. I would hate to be on the other side of the negotiating table with her so I think she's going to be really successful. Here's hoping that they don't drop this plot point. I'd love to see her going back to school to get her license and then creating her own real estate company. Emery and Evan could help out. I was disturbed by the neighbors' racism though and their not too subtle suggestion that Jessica's family move. They needed some Honey in this episode. Also, who knew 9 to 5 had a video game? So weird.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Jessica
Best Scene - Eddie tells Louis that he wants to work for his game
Funniest Moment - Jessica's victory dance / Dave getting so into the 9 to 5 game
Best Moment - Eddie and Dave commiserate over Dave's mom buying the wrong video game
Hardest to Say No To - Jessica, who when she can't find the job she wants just creates one
Best Parenting - Louis makes Eddie work for the money to buy a video game
Biggest Surprise - Eddie is pretty good at the restaurant job
The "Um, No That's Not Good" Award - 52% on the free throw line sucks even if it's Shaq
Best Way to Celebrate - turning on the AC
Best Quotes -
1. Evan: "It's like being kissed by a snowman."
2. Louis: "It's like an edible IKEA chair."
3. Jessica: "Eddie, I could get by with only two sons. Think about that."
4. Louis: "And that work ethic is how I am able to keep the lights on." Evan: "But not the AC." Louis: "That's your mother's thing. She runs the house. Don't pull me into that."
5. Jessica: "I'm just trying to cool down my kids and find a job, but no one seems to appreciate how I'm good at everything I do."

Eye Candy - 1.07 - SOS

The premise behind this episode was sufficiently creepy, but the whole thing screams too much of torture porn for me. There was the literal torture, the threat of torture, and then the torture of George's body sweat fact that's going to haunt me during my next hotel stay. Add in Tessa, who is not in the least bit suspicious of course, and this episode was a letdown. Not even George's genius could lift the episode from the mire it chose to lie down in.

Grade: C-

Best Reason to Watch - the pacing is intense at times
The "Why Don't You Just Take Your Own Sweet Time" Award - Tommy, Lindy is about to be tortured. Could you pick up the pace please?
Most Suspicious New Addition - Tessa
Worst Trade-Off - Lindy gets involved with yet another creepster in exchange for coffee. Terrible trade.
Most Missed - Connor, who was in this episode but just barely
Most Surprising - drugged pillows
Most Creepy - George's facts are sometimes worse than the murderers on this show / rented places with hidden cameras
Biggest Idiot - Sophia for getting drunk instead of getting out of town. My theory is that Tessa wanted access to Cyber Crime and this was her way to forward her nefarious plan.
Weirdest Timing - Lindy getting involved with Jake so soon after Ben's death
Best Quotes -
1. Tessa: "I lived in the rain forest for 4 months, a place where everything wants to kill you."
2. Connor: "Would you want to be judged by who you were in high school? I wouldn't."

Rizzoli & Isles - 5.14 - Foot Loose

A decent episode for Rizzoli & Isles, this one highlighted the excellent character interactions like usual. That's probably the best thing about R & I, given that it follows the typical crime procedural pattern. I really like that Angela is working for Korsak, which I called last week. It just makes sense and will keep Angela intertwined with the cast better. Watching her gruffly tell the customers what's what will also be a lot of fun. I hope they keep up those scenes. As for the case, it was more gruesome and exuded a bit more hint of the ratings grab than usual. Cyanide and body pieces washing ashore will do that. The best thing about it was the twist at the end and Korsak and Jane working together to take down the killer. I did enjoy the addition of Chip and am sorry that he left so soon. Not so sure about his fascination with boobs though, although Bostonia will fit in nicely with a lot of other comics in that regard. I wonder if it will become a running gag for the remainder of the season.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - everyone gets a chance to shine and the ending twist was good
Best Scene - Jane and Korsak take down the bad guy
Least Surprising - Angela is now working for Korsak
Best Moment - Jane calls backsies
Least Fun Fact - everyone's feet are pretty much detachable in sea water
Most Excited to be Fired - Chip, the forensic artist
Best Reaction - Jane to seeing Chip's wall of comic art
Best Therapist / Most Bossy - Angela
Least Necessary - the wall of body parts that have washed up on the shore
Best Music - I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany
Best Quotes -
1. Jane: "Another reason I hate the ocean." Korsak: "What's the other reasons?" Jane: "It's full of drunk guys peeing in it. I think that's enough."
2. Angela: "Hang up. This is important." Tony: "Why should I?" Angela: "Because you're going to blow this engagement, no one is ever gonna love you, you'll die alone." Tony: "I'll call you back."
3. Burke: "You know what's in here?" Korsak: "Almond extract. Goes great with cookies." Burke: "Sure about that?" Korsak: "Absolutely. I love a good almond cookie."
4. Korsak: "I've got a jukebox in the back. It's busted though. I'm gonna get it fixed. It's got every tune ever done by Tiffany on it." Jane: "That explains why it's busted."
5. Jane: "Hi. Did I disturb your journey to another universe?"

Forever - 1.16 - Memories of a Murder

I admit I'm not much of a Hilarie Burton fan and I felt that her last episode was just a ratings grab given its scintillating topic. In this one, she still comes off as sexy and fun but more…um, real maybe? Not so much as a fantasy. Not sure if that is clear but I did enjoy her presence here. I also think the case was intriguing. I can't imagine hiring someone to play your dead wife nor actually taking the role, but the twist was good and like Molly, I kind of liked the damsel in distress scene. I also like that they didn't hook up Henry and Jo. That partners as lovers thing bugs me. Still my favorite scene is as always one with Henry and Abe. I love how they bond over pasta and the memories of their past.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the case
Best Scene - Abe makes dinner using his mom's secret recipe
Best Aww Moment - Henry dances with Abigail in the flashbacks
Best Twist - Sarah's roommate killed her in order to impersonate her
Most Uncomfortable - Jo in the middle of Henry and Molly flirting
Best Tom Sawyering - Hanson has Lucas do all the garbage sifting
Worst Timing / Biggest Douche - Henry tells Molly that he can't be with her at her hospital bed after she's been stabbed and almost died
Most Aware - Reece, who knows Henry has the hots for Molly
Weirdest Fetish - the 70's
Weirdest Date - Henry and Molly discuss murder, go to a crime scene, role play the supposed murderer's fantasy, and then got to the morgue. Can't say it was boring.
Best Pulling Rank - Jo uses her badge to get Henry into Molly's hospital room
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Molly Dawes
The "Welcome Back" Award (actor) - Emily Kinney from The Walking Dead
Best Reference - Saturday Night Fever / Anna Wintour
Best Quotes -
1. Lucas: "Oh, I love fondue. You can go like savory with cheese or sweet with chocolate. But the best part, it's social and therefore a Petri dish for communicable diseases. I'll get this tested." Jo: "Yum."
2. Molly: "Drinks and a trip to the morgue. This is the best date I've had in years."
3. Henry: "Is that the smell of molten cheese bubbling over a chemical flame? Mmm, fondue. My favorite."
4. Hanson: "Ah, homicide. What morning's complete without a 100 yard hike through garbage to a dead body?" Jo: "You picked up. When I pick it up, the crime scene is a fountain or a museum, some place nice. You pick up, it's a crack den or a tunnel." Hanson: "What? I've got bad crime scene karma?"
5. Henry: "I've got it. What if someone was impersonating the impersonator?" Jo: "Okay, that just hurts my head."

Agent Carter - 1.08 - Valediction

To be honest, this would have been an A- episode if they had made the Dottie vs. Carter fight scene a little longer and a little more evenly matched. It's been the #1 thing I have looked forward to in the show since we learned Dottie was evil. I loved that scene; don't get me wrong. It's just I wanted it to be slightly more epic. Other than that and the weird way it ended, I have no complaints. I'm sure ending on the villains was to please comic book fans or plug yet another movie but they really needed to have the villains meet before the last scene with Jarvis and Carter. After all, this show is all about their bond so it seems fitting that they have their power scene before Carter dumps Captain America's blood and we go off into the sunset to the soothing tunes of Bing Crosby. At least they didn't do as I feared and somehow have the blood going into the water trigger Captain America's return. That would have sucked big time. In the end, I will be sad to see this show go. I know it didn't have the ratings they were hoping for, but I found it along with The Flash to be the best TV show based on a comic currently on air. The short order of episodes to bridge the gap of SHIELD's return was perfect and quite frankly I looked forward more to Agent Carter than anything on SHIELD except May. (I'll probably leave the latter until hiatus, given the issues I have with Skye.) Here's hoping ABC tries this format again. I'd love for it to be Agent Carter again, but they have a wealth of other superheroes they can use I'm sure. It's nice to have short original programming to see us through the break.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - good ending to a great series
Best Scene - Jarvis gives Carter the blood of Captain America / Carter tells Sousa she doesn't need approval
Best Action - Carter vs. Dottie
Best Moment - all the men clapping when Carter walks into the SSR
Best Character Interaction - Jarvis and Carter
Best Reward - due to being such a great friend, Angie gets a nice, free home to stay in
Biggest Rookie Mistake - Sousa accidentally sprays himself with Howard's crazy making aerosol
Best Move - letting Dottie live to be a nemesis for another day
Worst Move - ending on the criminals instead of ending on Carter
Best Reaction - Thompson to Stark coaching him during the press conference / Dottie to Stark not remembering their dalliance
Least Likely to Recommend You - Howard snarks about the SSR's poor security and says he could do better. Not 10 minutes later he's talking about another time his labs were broken into and a dangerous weapon was stolen. That's 2 vaults and a mass of weapons in what, 2 years? I'll stick with ADT.
Best Plan - Sousa wears ear plugs so Ivchenko can't hypnotize him
Worst Plan - not cutting out Ivchenko's vocal cords so he can no longer speak
Most Over-Used Word - focus
Biggest Chuckle - Stark tries to bribe the cop with Rosalind Russell's phone number
Biggest Douche - tie - Stark / Thompson
Best Music - The Way You Look Tonight by Bing Crosby. What can I say? I have a thing for Bing.
Best Quotes -
1. Carter: "I don't need a Congressional honor. I don't need Agent Thompson's approval or the president's. I know my value. Anyone else's opinion doesn't really matter."
2. Jarvis: "How refreshing to meet someone who appreciates the finer things." Carter: "I appreciate the finer things. I just don't want to know what's happened in and on the fine things."
3. Jarvis: "I owe Howard Stark a great deal, but he does not own my integrity. I am quite certain there is only one person in the world who knows what to do with this. You, Miss Carter."
4. Ivchenko: "A new opportunity has arisen." Dottie: "Just since I left the car."
5. Carter: "You weren't yourself. How are you now?" Sousa: "I still want to kill Thompson, but no more than usual."

The 100 - 2.14 - Bodyguard of Lies

I have mixed opinions about this episode and everything is topsy turvy. I didn't care one iota about Clarke and Lexa's disagreements though they are usually a highlight. I am relieved that Clarke said she wasn't ready for a relationship though. It would not have fit the timing at all and I maintain that the only romance The 100 writers are capable of writing is Octavia and Lincoln. Every other time has devolved all characters involved, so I'm not at all thrilled about throwing Raven smack into another romance either. She was at her best by far on the Ark when she didn't have romantic entanglements to distract her from being awesome. Nix the romance. Save the show. Another odd twist was exactly how much I loved Bellamy here. For the first time since maybe mid-season 1, he's the episode's MVP. I don't faun over him like the majority of the fandom and it's been awhile since I thought he was outstanding. In fact these last few episodes where he's been separated from Clarke and mostly communicating with Raven has been Bellamy at his best. I hope they continue to separate Clarke and Bellamy because I feel they are both more interesting apart. The most shocking part of the episode though was how much I enjoyed Murphy's snark. I still hope he dies but until then, gave him all the zingers. He almost made the interminable City of Light trek interesting. Almost. Wick also broke up the bleakness so I hope he becomes more present in season 3. Other than that, I missed Kane but Octavia rocked. So did Indra. In the end though, nothing much mattered in this episode. In fact, it feels like a penultimate episode in that it sets up the finale but doesn't do much to move the story along except for Bellamy and the acid fog. Time to start the war.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - everything in Mount Weather
Most Skippable - everything else (unless it had Octavia, who is immensely un-skippable)
Best Scene - Octavia tells Clarke she knows about the missile
Best Action - Bellamy blows the acid fog tanks
Biggest Hmm - Well perhaps the remaining 100 wouldn't have felt it necessary to kill your guards if you weren't trying to exterminate them. How exactly is this their fault, Cage?
The "Made Me Jump" Award - mid-joke the guy sets off a mine field
The "Don't You Even Think About It" Award - Lexa gives the order to kill Octavia. If I have to choose between Octavia and Lexa, the Grounder Queen is going down. No one takes out Octavia.
MVP - Bellamy
Most Missed - Kane / Lincoln
The "Told You So" Award - I knew Cage was going to regret launching that missile. If he hadn't, he could have taken out the majority of the grounder army during their march to the mountain.
Best Snark - Murphy with a close Wick second
The "Welcome Back" Award - Wick, who is growing even more on me. Here's hoping he's a regular next season.
The "You Might Survive but I Doubt It" Award - Maya, who isn't in this episode but whose situation remains a conundrum. I think I figured out a possibility. Maybe they extract the bone marrow from an Ark warrior who dies. I don't see any other way to save Maya because either the grounders or the radiation is going to get her.
Best Quotes -
1. Murphy: "Tell me. What level of crazy is too much for you? I'm just curious."
2. Wick: "I'll have you know, I was a god at fluid dynamics." Raven: "You think you're a god at everything." Wick: "Empirical evidence doesn't lie."
3. Indra: "I know what bothers you. They knew about the missile." Octavia: "How could you not hate them? Indra, they almost killed you." Indra: "They didn't do anything. The enemy did. Lexa's a great commander because she's ruthless. That's why we'll win this battle." Octavia: "That's wrong." Indra: "That's war."
4. Jaha: "We were meant to be here, John. These mines are just another test of our faith." Murphy: "Yeah well I was always cr** at tests so please after you, Chancellor."
5. Octavia: "Right, because you're in charge now and you decide who's disposable. You'd have fit right in on the Council."

Empire - 1.08 - The Lyon's Roar

Prejudices flew far and fast tonight, with almost all relationships breaking. It's also the first time the show did not end on a game changer, but resorted to a bleak Cookie singing in jail. While this episode had many shocks, I will say that Hakeem was the best surprise. I love how he tells Jamal to resolve his issues with Lucious or be paying a therapist over them in the future. It showed great wisdom from the Lyon who is usually the brattiest. I also like how he took a stand in all the relationships in his life. One of his greatest character moments was when Lucious made him talk about why he hates Cookie. It was raw and powerful and actually helped. Speaking of intense, even I felt bad for Andre and he tried to pimp out his wife for his career this episode. Watching him break down to The Pretender was heartbreaking. Lucious is such a prick! He doesn't value anyone except for what they can do to make him feel even more important. At this point, he's my least favorite character. Cookie didn't do herself any favors either, which she never does when she's coming off as a jealous loon. Still these two drive the soap opera of Empire largely in part because even if you can't like them, you can't ignore them. Four episodes left and I still have no idea where this show is going but I know I'm sticking around for the ride.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - 92% of all relationships crumble in this episode
Best Scene - Hakeem talks to Jamal about coming out
Best Awww Moment - Jamal promises to protect his daughter from the monsters and they sing together
Most Intense Scene - Andre breaks down in the recording studio, gun in hand
Most Wise - Hakeem, which is about as shocking as TV gets
Best Character Interaction - Jamal and Hakeem
The "Poor Baby" Award - Andre watches the rest of the family collaborate on a song, odd man out again
Best Confrontation - Anika just lays it on the line with Lucious. She knows about Cookie and she's going to use it to her advantage.
The "It's Got to be Love…Or Something" Award - Rhonda comes out in a green face mask and a ton of hair curlers but Andre and she are still making out and scheming their next move
Biggest Douche - Lucious, who proves it in all of his relationships tonight
The "Please Shut Up" Award - always to Cookie, always
Best Reaction - Rhonda to seeing Harold Blakely, the guy she's supposed to use sex as a weapon for
Most Surprising - Lucious says no to Andre being interim CEO / Jamal comes out at the White Party in song
Best Quotes -
1. Hakeem: "All dad cares about is making music and money. Come on, you know that." Jamal: "Which is exactly why we don't get along." Hakeem: "Look Mal, I know you've got issues with him but you've got to deal with it because in 25 years you're going to be in therapy wishing you'd done the right thing."
2. Jamal: "Momma, I'm telling you right now just be careful. You do not want to love that man." Cookie: "Why not?" Jamal: "Because he's incapable of loving anybody but himself."
3. Cookie: "Oh I get it. So Yoko Ono here wants to play on the song too. Well what can you do, Yoko? Can you play the tambourine?"
4. Hakeem: "She's always bossy me around, walking into rooms where she ain't supposed to and then act like she's running the show. Well you don't run the show. Dad does." Lucious: "He's 100% right." Hakeem: "And don't act like you ain't forget about me when you was away, but you ain't forget about Jamal, did you? You love Jamal more than me and you know it, but it's cool though."
5. Lucious: "The moment you brought that white woman into my house, I knew then I couldn't trust you. I knew than you didn't want to be part of my family." Andre: "She has nothing to do with this and you know it. You know why my family hates me? I know why. Because I'm not talented, not the way you want, right? Because I studied in school and got good grades and went to college. You hate me because I want to be accepted."

The Odd Couple - 1.02 - The Ghostwriter

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - the secondary characters
Best Scene / Best Reality Check - Emily tells Oscar and Felix to stop whining about their lives
Best Reaction - Oscar to Felix and Murphy encroaching on his personal bubble space / throwing the pencil sharpener off the terrace
MVP - Emily
The "I Don't Even Want to Know" Award - Felix psychoanalyzing food is very creepy
Most in Need of Remedial English - Marcus, honey, goodly is not a word.
Most Pathetic - a grown man miming his way through psychology
Best Commiserating - Dani and Oscar trying to deal with Felix
Least Surprising - Teddy eats the fake hamburger
Worst Diet - one carrot and a seaweed cleanse
The "Welcome Back" Award - Geoff Stults from Enlisted. I still miss Enlisted. A lot.
Best Quotes -
1. Oscar: "Not everybody wants to share the painful details of their lives." Felix: "Oh really. Heard of Facebook?"
2. Oscar: "You know I always thought I'd write a book that would make people see sports differently like Moneyball or Seabiscuit. But instead I'm cranking out a book about a guy who has 2 talents: catching baseballs and not catching Chlamydia."
3. Teddy: "Alright, so you're done playing Mid-Life Crisis: White People Edition." Oscar: "Wow, look who turns into Chris Rock when he's hungry."
4. Emily: "Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you both shut up?" Felix: "I beg your pardon." Oscar: "Wah, wah, wah, I'm not as famous as some other famous person. Wah, wah, Seabiscuit. Do you guys realize how lucky you are? You get paid to do what you love. Look at me. Instead of designing jewelry, I spent the day scrubbing toilets and putting out a grease fire, which I started, but that is not the point."
5. Emily: "Felix, can I get you anything?" Felix: "I'll have what he's having." Oscar: "An existential crisis." Emily: "Is that one of those fancy drinks? It's only my first day."

Allegiance - 1.04 - Chasing Ghosts

I liked a lot about this episode, but I'm starting to feel like I'm being strung along. To be honest, we're right back where we were in the pilot's huge tease of a cliffhanger. This time it appears that Alex really will learn the truth, but it was false advertising last time so fool me twice. If he doesn't learn the truth in the next episode, consider this show on hiatus for me because I don't like promo baiting. As for this episode, surprisingly it was the slower aspects that really rang true. I liked Katya and Mark talking it out at the bus station. Mostly I like how they left even more of a team than ever. I even liked Natalie's back and forth with Victor. She humanizes him so I'm hoping those two crazy spy kids can work it out. Mostly though I am hoping that Sarah gets shipped off to boarding school and that next week has more action and suspense. This one was a little slow, stranding all the great cat and mouse chase in the beginning.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the cliffhanger ending
Best Scene - Katya and Mark talk about their affairs
The "I Don't Get It" Award - Did they manage to download something on the flash drive? I have no idea how anyone can decrypt anything from a video of what a computer is doing.
Best Parenting - Hey, I firmly believe that parents need to spy on their kids so they don't get over their heads into trouble. I firmly support Katya reading Sarah's text messages. I also firmly endorse corporal punishment of brats. Just saying, Sarah.
Most Sympathetic - Natalie who is constantly being told to give up something or someone
Worst Poker Face - Alex
Best and Yummiest Prank - the CIA gives Alex a drawer full of chocolate Easter eggs
Worst Plan - checking to see what's on the laptop
Best Plan - videotaping it as it was deleted
Least Surprising / Worst News - Katya and Mark both admit to having an affair
Best Reference - National Treasure
Best Quotes -
1. Alex: "Mikhail's laptop was in city hall. The SVR just beat us to it." Director: "Really? Okay well, just dump that bucket of proof right over my head."
2. Katya: "Still when the time is right, I'm going to kill him." Mark: "What?" Katya: "Witness protection or no witness protection, that man has to die for our family to be safe."
3. Natalie: "You were the new guy, Stephen. He's just the guy."
4. Katya: "Any idea where the hell we are?" Mark: "Camden, Jew Jersey." Katya: "How could you possibly know that? We had bags over our heads." Mark: "The SVR didn't send you to recruit an idiot."
5. Katya: "You almost left me, Mark. You did leave me, just 3, 4, 6 months at a time. You said they were work trips but we both know that you could have gotten out of them." Mark: "No, stop. Stop. I wasn't perfect back then either." Katya: "I know." Mark: "You know. All these years you never said anything?" Katya: "I was trying to do one thing right for our children, just one thing." Mark: "We got through that. We can get through this, can't we?" Katya: "We have to. I can't make it without you."

How to Get Away with Murder - 1.14 - The Night Lila Died

I've said it before. I'll say it again. Everyone character in this show sucks. They are all so busy trying to throw each other under the bus that I almost wish there was a massive Greyhound onslaught. Only Bonnie came out somewhat clean, which is exactly why I thought she was the one who murdered Lila. Instead she just has bad taste in men, a fatal flaw of its own. Still it is Wes who causes the most damage and inadvertently gets one of the most interesting characters killed. I'd sure rather have Rebecca around than any of the interns. They all suck more as people the longer the show goes on. The class might as well be called How to Become a Douche in 3 Months or Less. I have to admit that I'm trepidatious about Rebecca's murder for another reason too. This show is a delicate balance of soap opera and logic fail. To add yet another murder that presumably will have to include a body dump, evidence cleanup, manipulation, and general mayhem might finally push it over. Are they seriously just going to keep killing people off to cover the first murder? The body count has gone into overdrive, but sadly, it's the least intriguing part. The pacing and acting remains the best.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - it's 3 murders for the price of one by the end of the episode
Most Intriguing - I don't care who killed Rebecca. I want to know what's up with Frank and exactly what Sam had on him.
Least Needed - the whole priest murder case
Best Throwing Shade - Rebecca hints that Wes might have killed his mom
The "Oh for the 190th Time" Award - stop talking about the murder in places anyone can overhear you
The "This is So Not Going to End Well for You" Award - What exactly did these fools think tying up Rebecca would do? They are in mutually assured destruction time right now.
The "Oh No You Didn't" Award - Agnes lies and says she was having sex with a priest while he was murdering someone
Least Surprising - Rebecca's dead
Most Surprising - Oliver has AIDS / Frank killed Lila
Best Plan - Rebecca finds the campus cop that saw the interns bringing out Sam's body
Worst Plan - Annalise arranges for Nate to get beat up to get him out on bail but it backfires
Least Sympathetic - I know I should feel for Lila, her ending up dead and all, but she grates my nerves
Best PSA - STD awareness
Best Quotes -
1. Annalise: "Enough, monsters. We don't tie people up and hold them captive against their will. Who have you all become?"
2. Bonnie: "Don't you dare put this on Frank. We have gone above and beyond here to try to fix this for all of you because this from the very start has been your mess. Each of you. And Frank and I have been more than willing to save all your stupid a**, not to mention Annalise, who for reasons beyond me continues to protect you and after what you did to her, what you took from her."
3. Annalise: "Don't worry. I still plan to win your case even if you refuse to help."
4. Annalise: "They've all lost their minds. That's the only thing I know for sure right know. I'm going to clear everything up, the entire mess."
5. Michaela: "I don't know what he is but I think you do or else you would not be here scared and nervous, begging a girl you do not like very much to marry your son. I'm sorry. He doesn't love me, but here's the thing. I love me so I'm done."

TBBT - 8.16 - The Intimacy Acceleration

This was a great episode of The Big Bang Theory because of the balance. Usually I like one of the segments but not the others. In this case, all 3 storylines were entertaining. Penny and Sheldon taking the test was the strongest merely for the character development. I like seeing them honest with each other because I get to know them better too. I especially like how it lay to rest the idea of Penny and Sheldon hooking up. I'm glad they see each other as family because they really have become like brother and sister. It's one of the better bonds Sheldon has and I like when these two have scenes together. Still, for all the heart that subplot contained, it was nicely balanced with the comedy of the other two. I want to go to an escape room now. It looked like so much fun, although $200 is pretty steep. Still it was nice seeing them all work together and enjoy themselves while doing it. No one was tearing each other down to find humor while they were there and it worked for me. Howard's emotions in the wake of losing his mother was powerful too. It shouldn't have been as funny as it was but they didn't lose the heartbreak in it either. Well done, TBBT writers. You created an episode that actually shows why this is the #1 rated comedy on TV.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - character growth of Penny and Sheldon
Best Character Interaction - Penny and Sheldon
Most Fun - the escape room
Best Moment - Amy tells the zombie to shut up so she can concentrate
Weirdest Moment - the zombie tells them they are solving the puzzle too quickly
Biggest Tearjerker - Howard regrets not driving his mom to the airport before she died
Best Aww Moment - Penny and Sheldon connect over the abilities they wish they could have
The "I Didn't Know That" Award - I had no idea you could carry cremated remains on a plane as either carry-on or checked baggage. It kind of surprises me that Howard didn't keep the ashes in his carry-on.
Biggest Ooops - I've had some crummy airline issues. Still losing someone's ashes is a huge deal.
Best End Card - Lorre reminds us that when communicating, online or not, we need to think before we say
Worst Sign - neither Penny nor Sheldon mention their significant others in their dream day
Best Quotes -
1. Raj: "What? I don't need science to win her heart. I have my family's wealth for that."
2. Bernadette: "You better find my husband's mother because one way or another, we're walking out of this airport with a dead woman."
3. Leonard: "I'm telling you, you can't create love in a few hours." Penny: "Uh careful. You're poking at the whole foundation of The Bachelor."
4. Sheldon: "Plus it's easier around people that I'm comfortable with." Penny: "Oh sweetie, I'm comfortable around you too." Sheldon: "Of course you are. I'm warm and soothing. I'm like a human bowl of tomato soup." Penny: "I meant more like a little brother." Sheldon: "Oh, well I suppose I do think of you as a sister and sometimes a mother." Penny: "It's getting creepy again."
5. Sheldon: "Well I suppose there's something satisfying about dying on my birthday." Penny: "Today's your birthday." Sheldon: "Yes." Penny: "Well, that's always been a secret. Not even Amy knows." Sheldon: "Well I don't enjoy presents and the thought of people jumping out and yelling, 'Surprise!' fills me with more dread than the words George Lucas' Director's Cut."

Backstrom - 1.06 - Ancient, Chinese, Secret

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the way each character reacts to their fortunes
Best Scene - Nadia tells Niedermayer about her past
Most Intense - Backstrom interrogates Jimmy
MVP - Nadia, who has a lot of specialties
The "You Know It's a Bad Day When…" Award - …you have to 2-fist beer to forget it
Best Mystery - the person looking for Nadia
Worst Theory - grandfather's ghost killed the man
Smartest Plan - Jimmy confesses to murder to keep from getting deported
Best Back Story - Nadia's past and Almond's relationship with his daughter
Best Reaction - everyone to Niedermayer's zealous portrayal of the crime / me to Celia beating herself
Best Quotes -
1. Nadia: "Agent Cole is my contact, someone I can trust." Niedermayer: "You can trust me." Nadia: "I just did. With my life."
2. Backstrom: "Okay wait a minute. I have a very important question. Did everybody already do the jokes about psychics not seeing it coming because I don't want to repeat anything?"
3. Backstrom: "No one hates a con like another con."
4. Celia: "We can communicate with spirits beyond the grave." Backstrom: "Okay." Almond: "Then why don't you ask your brother who killed him?" Backstrom: "Because she needs the Cheech and Chong."
5. Backstrom: "Thank you Gravely for not being crazy and believing in nonsense." Gravely: "Oh I believe in ghosts. I saw one once." Backstrom: "Stop talking." Gravely: "I was by myself and it was a creepy little girl." Backstrom: "It was a mirror."

The Musketeers - 2.07 - A Marriage of Inconvenience

As much as I loved the twist of Fake Louise, it is the forward plot progression that makes this episode. Most importantly, Treville is now ready to let Porthos and us in on the big secret of his parentage. This is by far the most interesting part of the season and I cannot wait for it to unfold. Milady also knows of Rochefort's deceit and hopefully will start playing him. I really don't need her leasing out her services to him like the errand boy she was for Cardinal Richelieu because that storyline became old fast and Milady is too good a character to constantly be under someone else's command. I'd love to see them switch it up and have her controlling Rochefort instead. Either way though, someone now knows his secret and Milady is back in the game where she excels. On a more ho hum note, Bonacieux's death gives D'Artagnan and Constance carte blanche to get together. They are so far ruined for me that it doesn't matter what they do anymore. I just want them off my screen, at least together. Separate, they are palpable. My only real disappointment with this episode is the cliffhanger of Porthos' family and the fact that Fake Louise is dead. I think she could have made for a very interesting protégé for Milady.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the plot moved forward in leaps and bounds in all segments
Best Action - attack on the Chancellor
Worst Plan - having to wait until next week to discover the mystery of Porthos' father
Biggest Hmmm - Why are the Musketeers' swords never bloody after battle?
Best Forward Plot Movement - Fake Louise informs Milady about Rochefort's spying for Spain
Most Clichéd - now there literally is Bonacieux's blood on D'Artagnan and Constance's hands
Worst Subplot - D'Artagnan and Constance
Best Reason to NOT Live in the 17th Century - tie - what passes for "modern" medicine / women being sold off to the highest bidder to ally countries
Biggest Shock - Treville is shot / Louise is a fake
Least Shocking - Bonacieux is shot
Biggest Cad - Aramis, D'Artagnan, and Constance are all in the running
Most in Need of Shutting Up - There is never time for a villain monologue. Never! Shut up and live to create chaos another day, Fake Louise.
Most Mad - Rochefort
The "Welcome Back" Award - Lemay, who has gotten a whole lot smarter since the last episode
Best Quotes -
1. Fake Louise: "I'm afraid the real Princess Louise never even made it out of Lombardy." D'Artagnan: "You mean you killed her." Fake Louise: "But on the positive side, I saved her from a dreadful marriage."
2. Fake Louise: "I haven't seen the king since we were children." Athos: "He's barely changed."
3. Athos: "This is everything I have. Take it and leave Paris." Milady: "First you threaten to kill me and now it's bribery." Athos: "A gift. There is a difference." Milady: "You think I'll accept your charity." Athos: "If you have any sense." Milady: "I'm not finished yet. Not by any measure."
4. Rochefort: "I have more than 500 guards under my command unless you killed any in a barroom brawl today."
5. Athos: "You, a known dissenter with a grudge against the Catholic church and a personal connection to the murder weapon. You're the last person we'd think of."

12 Monkeys - 1.07 - The Keys

Logically this episode bugs me to no end. It's the reason why time travel shows make no sense. If Cole died a week before, he shouldn't be able to come back a week later to get the information that will lead to his death - time traveling or not. Like all time travel shows, this is a plot device where literally nothing has any consequences. If you don't like the outcome, then all that needs to happen is a new time jump. Argh! It's the plot device to end all plot devices. If Cole dies, what's to keep them from sending someone like Ramse back with a note explaining that he's Cole's friend? There are literally no consequences for anything they have done so far and that lessens all the tension. Sure there was drama. Cassie falls apart at Cole's death. Cole, realizing that the jumps are going to kill him, stops to smell the roses and dance. But still, does anyone think this is the last we will see of Cole? Of course not. Therefore all this drama is contrived, drama for drama's sake. That is a terrible writing base and smacks of a lack of ideas. It is too early on in this show for it start floundering.

Grade: C

Best Reason to Watch - lots of action and drama
Most Intense - Cole tells Cassie that she can't tell him that he dies in Chechnya
Best Hardball - Aaron, who tells the Senator that if he goes down the Senator does too
The "You Can't Take Him Anywhere" Award - Cole and fancy shindigs don't exactly go together
The "100% Agreed" Award - I am with Cole and Aaron here. Sure Cole is going to die but billions of people should not if the virus really is contained.
Most Perplexing - as always time travel conundrums, which should mean Cole could not show up one week after he died
Least Sympathetic / Most Insane - Adam Wexler may be the biggest douche on TV
Best Lethal Weapon - Cole rigs a hay bale to take out the guy shooting at him
Best Future Thief - Aaron, who pickpockets the senator easily
The "Say What?" Award - Am I supposed to believe that the CIA hasn't already ransacked the bookstore and destroyed all the info they could find? Not buying it.
Best Reference - James Bond
Best Quotes -
1. Cole: "Why don't you grab a drink or some food and just be us for awhile?" Cassie: "I'm sorry. Have we met? The mission is this way."
2. Cole: "You're all dead men. Now you've got a choice. You can stay here, ride it out, and die like men or you can leave like cowards and kill everyone you've ever known. Families, wives, children."
3. Aaron: "Cassie, if we get caught…" Cassie: "What? Prison? Aaron, if this operation happens we all die."
4. Cassie: "You get used to it." Aaron: "Just worried about my tux."
5. CIA: "Well what the hell kind of assurances do we have that this stays buried?" Aaron: "You guys are the ones who seem to have trouble keeping your secrets."

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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