Monday, May 4, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of April 26 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome back to Last Week in TV, where despite many shows ending (both for the season and series) I am still behind. But hey, at least the column wasn't delayed this time. While I did get more caught up on Poldark, I still haven't seen the season finale so I'm postponing my review on it another week. I also have zero interest in Castiel and Claire's family drama so, even though it is rare for me, I will probably skip last week's episode altogether and just pick up Supernatural again this week. I also need to catch up on The Royals, AD, Elementary, and Young & Hungry, most on which I will marathon later. So how are you doing at staying caught up with your shows? Do you need the brief hiatus between spring and summer shows to marathon like I do? Speaking of marathoning, I am adding this week's nominated show, Merlin, to my marathon list. It was the best show I've seen this week even if it can't win Show of the Week due to it airing years ago. This week's nominated show has me nervous because I am staunchly anti-antiheroes and antiheroes don't come any bigger than Dexter. Stayed tuned next week for my review of the Dexter pilot and if you would like to nominate a show, please fill in the short form below. Until then, keep commenting about your own TV experiences and happy viewing.

Show of the Week:

The Goldbergs - 2.22 - Dance Party USA

This episode is a great example of why I love The Goldbergs. Every time Coach was on screen I laughed until I had to catch my breath but it also had more heart than most hour-long dramas. I adore how Barry is so supportive of both Erica and Laney when they aren't exactly looking like themselves. It's part of the charm of a character that can sometimes be written as overly obnoxious. In this episode he is a clear hero, not only doing letting his sister crash his TV date but also making sure she wasn't blocked by someone the producer felt was prettier. It was a sweet gesture by both Barry and Laney. Still his speech to Erica about how he never wants her to feel like a dork was even better. In fact, it was the best scene of the night. I also love how Murray reminded Adam of how much Pops does with him so that Adam can continue to admire Pops but with a bit clearer eyes. As always, The Goldbergs does the best job of making me laugh but also giving me a reason to watch in the first place. The character interactions are golden.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - the character interactions
Best Scene - Barry tells Erica that she can join Laney and his date
Best Character - Coach
Best Character Interaction - Barry and Erica
Best Aww Moment - Pops gives Adam his grandfather's watch
Best Montage (Maybe Ever) - Coach Mellor's dance mentoring
Biggest Facepalm - Adam really needs to learn when to call it a loss and just quit. Gambling's not for him.
Biggest Laugh - Nintardo
Biggest Hmm - In the 80's, if you had pink eye you weren't at school. Nowadays, sure but then we worried more about not spreading it.
Biggest What the Heck - Exactly where did that Erica pear throwing tantrum come from? I guess more than pinkeye is catching.
Best Deal Ever - Principal agrees to play against Beverly for high stakes: keeping her out of his office for a week
Best Reference - War / dance party shows
Worst Reference - rattail
Best Quotes -
1. Coach: "I'm not just your wrestling coach, Goldberg. I'm your life coach. Now drop and give me feelings."
2. Erica: "I can't go on TV looking like this. I can't even go out in the world like this." Barry: "Trust me, you can." Erica: "How would you know?" Barry: "Honestly, this is what I feel like every day. When I saw you freaking out in the cafeteria, I saw me and I realized I never want to see you feel that way again." Erica: "Why are you being so nice to me?" Erica: "Because no matter how scary you look, you'll always be my big sister."
3. Adam: "You know you were right. Pops isn't a hero. He's a fraud." Murray: "That's not what I meant. Listen, Pops may not be magic but he's a terrific grandfather and he's always there for you." Adam: "But he still lied to me." Murray: "He exaggerated. That's what all grandfathers do. You know why? Because they want you to love them as much as they love you."
4. Adam: "Are you combining Nintendo and Atari into some horrible mom word?"
5. Murray: "She just had her morning coffee. You go. I'll stay and be a body in the room for her."
6. Laney: "I'm so sorry Barry. If you don't want to be seen with me, I totally get it." Barry: "I'm not gonna lie. I'm super into this." Laney: "I love dating a weirdo."

Nominated Episode:

Merlin - 3.12 - The Coming of Arthur, Part 1

Now that was one exciting ride. Granted, I didn't know what was happening in some places since I went from the pilot to episode 3.12 and I might be confusing some of these characters. Like Gwen. Is she Guinevere and if so, why is she siding with Morgana? That makes no sense. Also, I get that Merlin is hiding his magical powers from the sundry but does Arthur know he has them? He never showed his powers while Arthur was looking so I can't be sure. Then there's Morgana. Her identity was a secret? I thought it was widely known that she was Arthur's half-sister. Oh well. Slight confusion aside, this was a packed plot, moving quickly from one catastrophe to the next. Yes, it was very predictable. I mean who didn't know that Arthur was going to lose the Holy Grail the second he got it. But it was a great ride, scenes seamlessly moving from one adventure to the next. I especially liked the friendship between Arthur and Merlin, like many suggested I would. It's the kind of bromance that makes every quest better and the playful, snarky banter between them is fantastic. I cannot wait to watch 3.13 since this is quite the cliffhanger to leave off on.

Grade: A-
Ranking - 4
Audience - anyone who likes fact moving plots with a little magic and legend thrown in

Best Reason to Watch - the pacing and character interaction
Best Reaction - Uther Pendragon to seeing Morgana take the throne
The "Say What?" Award - If they truly believe Arthur's been poisoned, why don't they take him to the Druids? They seem to be able to help in this kind of situations.
Least Surprising - once Arthur has the Cup of Life, they are attacked / Morgause kills Cenred
Most Lucky - the guy (Sir Leon) druid magic healed presumably from the Holy Grail
Worst Plan - immortal soldiers, which can never end in good
Biggest What the Heck - Gwen is on the side of Morgana? How'd that happen?
Best Timing - Merlin sets the place on fire during the fight between Arthur and Gwaine
Most Anticlimactic - the Druid leader just hands the Cup of Life to Arthur
Most Kick Butt (evil version) - Morgause takes out the slave trader with one flash of her eyes. Don't mess with this woman.
Best Medieval Gibbs' Slap Ever - look at Arthur channeling his inner Gibbs
Best Point - Merlin did save both these braggarts with his nifty fire trick
Biggest Rookie Mistake - when Merlin sees Gaius, they both shout each other's name even though they are trying to be stealthy while surrounded by immortal enemy soldiers
Biggest Hmm - Why doesn't Merlin magick the cup back to him when it falls into the hands of the guard? He seems to have enough magical power to do it so why does he just stand there as they walk off?
Biggest Jinx - Arthur and Merlin say maybe things will be easy, right before being drugged and kidnapped
The "Welcome Back?" Award - Anthony S. Head formerly my beloved Giles on Buffy and also on WH13 / Katie McGrath formerly of the horrible Dracula series / Bradley James, now guesting on iZombie and soon to be on Damien / Colin Morgan, recently on The Fall / Eoin Macken, currently starring as the selfish TC on The Night Shift / Emilia Fox from Pride and Prejudice
Best Quotes -
1. Gwaine: "If I die collecting firewood, keep it to yourself. I've got my reputation to consider."
2. Arthur: "Merlin, you should go with them." Merlin: "Nah, I've seen the woods already."
3. Uther: "This is unlawful. You cannot do this. You have no right to the throne." Morgana: "No she does not, but I do. I am your daughter after all. Don't look so surprised. I've known for some time."
4. Gwaine: "So according to Merlin here if you tell me where this cup is, you have to kill me." Arthur: "That is correct." Gwaine: "You may as well tell me then. I mean let's be honest. You couldn't kill me even if you wanted to." Arthur: "Yeah? Try me."
5. Arthur: "What part of the word secret did you not understand?"

New Show:

Happyish - 1.01 - Pilot

To say this is not the comedy for me might be the greatest understatement of the TV season. From ALL the cursing to the sex with a beloved animated advertising character, I'm not putting episode 1.02 on my to-watch list. It has that kind of pretentious air complete with references to Samuel Beckett and Camus that is likely to get it labeled a thinking man's comedy, but really means glacial pace and not remotely funny. At the foundation is Thomas Payne, an aptly named 44-year-old marketing executive whose bleak world outlook is made even worse by the hiring of two 20-somethings to be his new bosses. He's a middle aged man fighting for survival in a hipster world and even the presence of his newly bought skinny jeans can't disguise how uncomfortable his world has gotten. In other words it's an comedic take on the generation gap but unlike Younger, this one is more discomfiting than funny and the younger generation does not even come off as sympathetic. Pass.

Grade: D

Best Reason to Watch - cast includes some topnotch actors
Best Reason to Fast Forward - sex with a cartoon character
Best Aww Scene - Thom reading to Julius and telling him goodnight
Best Character - Ellen Barkin as Dani, the headhunter that encourages Thom to keep his job
Biggest Sign We're All Screwed - skinny jeans are required to succeed
The "Say What?" Award - Did someone on this show just applaud Al-Qaeda and Isis for being good marketers? Okay then.
Best Visual - Western Civilization holding its hands up like its being taken hostage by the males, 18-24 demo
Most Depressing - If this show is correct, the average employee age at Facebook is 26, at Google it's 31, and at Apple it's 33. Those are scary statistics.
Worst Plan - downing bottles of stuff you got at the health store right before meeting your new bosses and without reading the side effects first
Most Bizarre - homicidal / suicidal Keebler elves
The "Welcome Back" Award - Bradley Whitford of the superior Trophy Wife and West Wing / Ellen Barkin of a bazillion movies / Nils Lawton, most recently playing a dead douche on Eye Candy / Kathryn Hahn from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Crossing Jordan / Andre Royo of Fringe
Best Reference - Lord of the Flies
Best Quotes -
1. Thom: "My name is Thomas Payne and I…I work for Satan. I've worked for the Dark Lord for 20 years now and so I say this with a fair degree of authority. F** Mad Men. There's nothing cool about advertising. There's nothing interesting. We do the same thing that everyone else in the world does these days. We kiss the zit-covered a** of arrogant, know nothing teenagers. It's Lord of the Flies out there folks and everyone over the age of 18 is Piggy."
2. Jonathan: "In a couple of months, I expect to be replaced by a f** app."
3. Dani: "Thom Payne, low joy ceiling. It's not the pursuit of happiness that's our problem. It's our inability to accept when we have maxed out. You think you're not happy? Trust me, Thom. You couldn't possibly be happier."
4. Thom: "Abs don't tell the world you're healthy. They tell the world you're one Twinkie away from killing yourself."
5. Barry: "If you ask me Julius is just too happy." Thom: "Too happy?" Barry: "You make your kid happy in this world, you're setting them up. It's child abuse. Trust me Thom, the only shot at happiness in this world is a miserable childhood, the sh** the better."
6. Jonathan: "Things have changed, Thom. Thinking is not as important as tweeting."

Weekly Shows:

Battle Creek - 1.08 - Old Wounds

Procedurals always take a step forward when the case of the week is personal. By making this one about Danny's murdered parents, they gave another glance into Guz's history and unleashed a wealth of back story. I never would have guessed that she came from an abusive family or that it caused her to turn to alcohol. While I think it would have behooved her to share this info with Danny a long time ago, it created one of the best scenes in Battle Creek so far. I love that when she confesses her past to Danny and reaches out her hand to him, he grabs her hand too. It's a reconciliation likely to be fraught with hard times and setbacks, like any addiction, but I like that they are now in it together. I hope we continue to get updates on how Danny is doing for the remainder of the show, which sadly won't be too long from now. I'll miss Battle Creek, although I won't miss Russ, who still acts like a child and a douche alternately.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Guz and Danny
Best Scene - Guz and Danny reconcile when she shares her past addiction problems
Best Moment - Russ grabs Guz's shoulder while Danny is remembering the murders
Best Back Story - Guz tells Danny about her alcoholism and her family's history of abuse and addiction / Holly's juvenile record
Best Timing - Milt arrives just as Russ is ready to smash Pritchett's framed wall picture
Biggest Rivalry - Pritchett and Russ
Biggest Moron - Danny, on parole and recently arrested, breaks a cop's window to look at a crime file
Biggest Douche - Russ, who snaps at everyone / Pritchett, who purposely leaves off Russ in his public thanks
Most Childish - Meredith, who gives Russ the silent treatment
Best Quotes -
1. Guz: "There have been so many times on this job when I have been tempted to pick up a bottle but I never have because I always had you to get home to. You saved me and I would really like to return the favor."
2. Jacocks: "I found a ticket. Illegal U-turn." Fontanelle: "Oooh, we better warn her. He might turn around suddenly."
3. Milt: "You're under arrest for the murders of Rosalee Brackish and Kyle Chilton." Devon: "You guys are slow."
4. Milt: "Pritchett happened to be your boss when you came in. That doesn't make his opinion any more valid than anyone else. It's certainly no more valid than mine and I say you're a better detective and a better person than he could ever be."
5. Guz: "Poppa used to love spending time with you. He also used to love beating Nana. My dad was a drunk, an abusive drunk. My mom was a pill head, only way she could cope. My dad took a lot of anger out on me. I was an easy target I guess. So what did I do? I drank. The cycle continued. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was drinking every day." Danny: "So you were an alcoholic?" Guz: "Still am. Sober 22 years." Danny: "How come you never told me this before?" Guz: "I wanted to be a moral example. Today I have decided that I should be me and you should be you."

Stalker - 1.18 - The Woods

What I like about Stalker most is how strong a character Beth is. She's not my favorite character but she is well-rounded in a way few female cops are. She is the victim but she never plays the victim. What I mean is that they've allowed her to be vulnerable and scared when under attack. They allow her to feel and cry and all those pesky emotions that female cops, especially earlier, were never allowed to do because they were playing the tough guy in a man's world. It makes the character feel real. Yet, she doesn't let it become her. Beth full-on takes down the psycho who killed her family while having her hands handcuffed behind her. That is a straight up kick butt women and probably the best action sequence of the month. She's smart and absolutely never the damsel in distress that has to be rescued, but she doesn't shunt off help anymore either. For those who hated Stalker on principal as being misogynistic, you really missed out on a powerful, empathetic, smart female character. It's a shame that the dreadful pilot (and it was dreadful) caused people to turn away. This is a great example of how much better a show can get if you give it time. Sadly, it will never get a season 2 to prove itself.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Beth wins
Best Action - Beth takes down Ray with her hands cuffed behind her back
Smartest Character - Vicki, who tracked Jack and had people of standby to help out
Biggest Facepalm - Beth drops the iron poker instead of knocking Ray unconscious with it
The "I've Seen Too Much TV for This" Award - No body, no death. No matter how implausible it is that the villain could escape, if there's no body then you can't really consider them dead. If it's a genre show, even with a body you can't count them out unfortunately.
Worst Plan - Coming up with a plan and then constantly looking in the direction of where you're going to go when a psycho has abducted you. Look anywhere else, Beth.
Most Fun - Ray really did sound like he was a fun date before he went all stalker and psycho
Biggest PSA - Never let a stranger into your house EVER!
The "You Tell Him" Award - Janice tells Jack to stop whining about who's in charge and do something to find Beth
Biggest Busybody - Hazel, who barges into the cabin without being asked and ends up getting killed for it
The "That Makes Zero Sense" Award - Why would the one mailbox not be with the entire row of other mailboxes? Could the person not go the extra 20 feet when their place is in the middle of nowhere? It's not like they wouldn't be driving or hiking down to the road anyway.
Worst First Aid - Beth, take your shirt off and use it as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding
Most Suspicious - The cabin they walk into is unlocked. Even in the middle of nowhere, I find that highly unusual.
Best Quotes -
1. Janice: "You want some good news?" Jack: "I'd kill for some."
2. Janice: "They're unlocked. She got free…and it looks like she kicked his a**."
3. Ray: "I've waited 12 years to be with you and I realize I may have to wait 12 more years for you to trust me again, for you to love me, but I can wait. I mean I think if we've established anything it's that I'm patient. Wouldn't you agree?"
4. Beth: "Why did you kill Perry?" Ray: "Perry became a liability." Beth: "How many others, Ray?" Ray: "The end justifies the means." Beth: "What is the end? Do you even know?" Ray: "You and me together? Like it's always been."
5. Ray: "I know you think I'm a horrible person and maybe I am, but I don't have to be. You have the power to change me."

iZombie - 1.07 - Maternity Liv

And here when I dropped Helix, I thought I was done with killer rats. Nothing like a zombie rat to get other rats cowering in the corner. Still that's a positive sign providing no one gets bitten or scratched. Maybe Ravi really will find a cure. As for the case, I thought this one was handled pretty well for having already seen it in a thousand other shows before. I like the new perspective Liv got from the pregnant victim, especially since it helped her bond with her mother. Evan, though, is probably wondering why he suddenly has 2 moms. I also love how Liv and Lowell have to maneuver around them both having brain-controlled personality changes. What isn’t working for me is Major. Since when would he break into someone's car? That seems too rash and quite frankly dumb for his character. He could lose his job over this. They either need to put him in the know or get him out of this plot altogether.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Liv gets a deeper understanding of her mother
Best Scene - Liv tears the douche Dylan a new one
Biggest Hmm - I don't get it. Were the kidnappers in league with Blaine and therefore not really dead after all or did the lieutenant find a way to plant evidence of all the missing kids out there? Wouldn't that take the actual bodies? Ones with missing brains that would be autopsied. Also how would they get them out there without the rest of the police force knowing? This all sounds like shenanicanon.
Biggest Oops - Clive accidentally talks to a newspaper reporter
Best Approach - Clive tells Emily's boyfriend that if he cooperates he can change how people view him
Worst Party Crasher - an almost dead girl
Best Solution - Dylan gives the baby to Emily's parents
Best Full-On Zombie Rage - Lieutenant pulls off a refrigerator door and uses it as a shield
Least Stealthy - the kidnappers who start shooting at police when they are parked
Biggest PSA - law enforcement isn't fair and missing homeless kids don't get the attention they deserve
Best Twist - Lowell also changes based on the brains he eats which makes his relationship with Liv even more complicated
Best Use of Zombie Power - Liv pulls off the padlock holding the girls captive
Most Fun - Liv and Lowell drunk
Worst Plan - Major breaking into Candy Man's car. Even worse, he doesn't use gloves and he sticks around instead of getting out once he has the name.
Most in the Know - Lieutenant knows that Liv's a zombie too or at least he highly suspects
Best Reactions - Evan and their mom's reaction to Liv agreeing with her
The "Foul on that Play" Award - Clive can't really blame Liv for getting quoted, especially when he kept interrupting Major from telling him that the reporter was there
The "Welcome Back" Award - Teryl Rothery from Stargate, Supernatural, and Arrow / Barclay Hope from Stargate and Eureka / Chad Rock from Cult
Best Quotes -
1. Clive: "They didn't get this at Ikea." Liv: "No this is what Rumpelstiltskin carves for you after you promise him your firstborn."
2. Evan: "You're on her side? Is this a bit?" Liv: "When I was your age, we valued hard work." Evan: "Yeah, back in the hardscrabble year of aught 4. All those CD-ROMs that needed burning."
3. Clive: "The first time I was on a stakeout, I was so bored I ate 3 candy bars and an entire package of mini-donuts. FYI - if you're waiting to bust a coke den, it's better if you're not riding a sugar high and covered in white powder."
4. Lowell: "My plan is to score some ludicrously straight brain ASAP. I may dig up Wilt Chamberlain."
5. Lowell: "Sorry. I didn't realize the bump it-blow it up thing was over and we're back to tapping rats."
6. Ravi: "I'm missing a rat. Liv, you're rocking a rat." Liv: "I am 5 seconds away from naming it and then making it a grilled cheese. These maternal instincts are relentless."

Younger - 1.06 - Shedonism

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Diana back story
Best Character - Annabelle, who could get old fast but was delightful in this episode
Best Reaction - Liza and Josh to Annabelle objectifying him
Best Plan - giving Liza something more to do in the office because that's when the story tends to drag
First Outing? - Does Annabelle know that Liza is in her 40's? It sure seems like she did.
Most Helpful - Lauren again
Biggest Douche - Annabelle / David
Biggest Douche Move - Josh wants Cross Fit to be their "thing" without even seeing if Liza is into it
Best Decision - Liza not bailing out her ex
Tech of the Week - Vine
Best Quotes -
1. Anton: "I believe it was Fitzgerald who said that the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in mind at the same time." Kelsey: "I think it's highly possible that F. Scott Fitzgerald was drunk when he said that."
2. Liza: "You're a really good friend." Diana: "No, a good friend would stop bailing her out and let her hit rock bottom. This is professional. She is my author. Now let's get her out of here while she still has her underwear on." Annabelle: "I still have my underwear on? This was a terrible party."
3. Diana: "I tried to get her into rehab but there is only so much you can do for people who need help but won't get it." Liza: "Well sometimes people need a second chance." Diana: "I don't carry dead weight well…in my personal life or in my office."
4. Liza: "I'm sorry. I took a Cross Fit class this morning and I think I tore my…everything."
5. Diana: "Liza, I hope you realize the opportunity I'm giving you." Liza: "I do, Diana." Diana: "Good because my assistants don't stay assistants very long. They move up or they move out."
6. Josh: "You know. I figured out what her problem is." Liza: "What's that?" Josh: "That she won't act her age. I mean she's clearly in her 40's but she acts like she's in her 20's. Why would people do that, you know?"

The Flash - 1.20 - The Trap

This is another win for The Flash, mostly because they have fleshed Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne so well. I love that there is a hint of intense personal connection between them. Whatever happened in the future, it was enough to make Eobard cross time to try to get rid of his nemesis. Even better, Barry doesn't know what started this chain of events. Sure, the time travel stuff makes no sense and the whole "creating your own nemesis" thing is a thousand times facepalm. Still the way that Wells can turn on a dime from pep talking Barry into saving people's lives to boldly announcing his eternal hatred for him is chilling and utterly fascinating. This is why he will always be a better villain than Malcolm Merlyn, who was just another overreaching cartoon villain on Arrow. Harrison does have some equally bad dialogue, but he overcomes it and makes it powerful instead of hokey. This is the comic show standoff I am most looking forward to and I know that it will be great. Just like almost everything The Flash has done this season. What a freshman start!

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Harrison Wells makes a great villain. He's what Malcolm Merlyn should have been on Arrow before John Barrowman and the writers turned him into just another over-the-top clown with stupid motives and no common sense.
Best Scene - Wells reveals that he tricked them all
Best Aww Moment - every time Joe calls Barry his son / Barry tells Joe that this is not his fault
Most Annoying Subplot - Iris. Yeah, I know she's a character but everything that happens involving her is always so dull.
Best Back Story - Joe while Barry is in a coma
The "Um, Say What?" Award - Barry created Siri 128.0? Doesn't that seem more like a Cisco thing?
The "Finally Someone Said It" Award - Cisco illuminates many of the issues I have with time travel stories / Joe calls shenanicanon on the whole Cisco remembers an alternate timeline fallacy
Best Dichotomy - Wells is helping Barry so much only to kill him in the end
Most Brainy - Caitlin with her lucid dream glasses
Biggest Face Palm - While mid rescue, Barry calls Dr. Wells by name making it one step easier for someone to figure out his secret identity. He does the same with Cisco and Caitlin by the way.
Worst Parenting - Joe tells Eddie he doesn't have his permission to marry Iris because he thinks Iris has feelings for Barry. Um, you do know Iris is an adult, right? Butt out, sir. Let her make her own choices.
Best Surprise / Most Well-Played - Wells has the shapeshifter Hannibal Bates pretend to be him when Team Flash tries to trap him
Worst Way to Break News - nothing like having Siri 128.0 explain that your mentor's goal in life is to kill you
Worst Timing - Reverse Flash interrupts Eddie's proposal
Best Pep Talk - Wells tells Barry that he believes in him and that Barry can save the tower people
The "Please Just Get This Over With" Award - Iris may know Barry is The Flash. I hope so. It's stupid to drag this out.
Biggest Egads Moment - Iris' name is on the future by-line. Now we'll never get rid of her.
Best Quotes -
1. Joe: "Hold on. Isn't that in your dream when everything went all…" Cisco: "All Kali Ma, Temple of Doom? Yeah, that definitely happened."
2. Barry: "He thinks of Cisco as a son." Joe: "Well then we need to do a better job protecting him than I did protecting you." Barry: "I'm not sure what that means." Joe: "Barry, this is all because of me." Barry: "No." Joe: "I never should have let Wells take you from that hospital. None of this would have ever happened." Barry: "If you hadn't, let him take me I would be dead for sure." Joe: "But even then I knew something wasn't right. Everything in my gut was telling me not to trust him but I did because I was so desperate to see you okay." Barry: "Joe, this isn't your fault. It's not your fault. Look, every bad thing that has happened to us, all of it, it was him and now he's gonna pay for it."
3. Wells: "You look so young. I could kill you right now so easy. What I wouldn't have given all those time before to have had you like this. So helpless. But fate, fate's tricky isn't it? I come here to destroy you and then to get home I have to be the one who creates you. But I will say it's been an education, watching you grow up all these years. Science fairs and soccer games. No hint, no sign, no trace of the man you will be one day, for whom I have nothing but hate and to be clear, nothing is forgiven. There will be a reckoning. I promise you, Barry Allen, that you will die."
4. Cisco: "I put a tracker on his wheelchair. Which if we're wrong about him and he is paralyzed, I'm going to hell for that one."
5. Cisco: "Yeah except I'm pretty sure I die in this dream. If I go back into it, am I going to die in real life? I mean what are we talking about here. Is this Inception or Dreamscape?"
6. Barry: "I guess I was afraid I couldn't save everyone." Wells: "Right, but if there is anything that I have learned in our time together, Barry, is that the only thing standing in the way of you achieving every goal that you set for yourself is you. There is no limit to how strong you will get or how fast you will go. Everything that you need, you already have."
7. Joe: "I'm not following." Barry: "Alright what if that day Cisco found out that Wells is Reverse Flash and then Wells killed him, but when I ran back a day I changed the timeline so that event never happened?" Joe: "If it never happened, how could Cisco remember it?"

CSI: Cyber - 1.09 - L0M1S

I have to admit that this episode surprised me. I should have seen the twist coming but I guessed the wrong culprit. I thought it was the girl's dad and not the girl herself. If I had remembered that he didn't go into the airport to see her off, I wouldn't have missed it. I also missed that Krumitz broke the law for an illegal search in order to catch the teen. Well done, CSI: Cyber. I'm not usually fooled twice. The third surprise I'm filing under TV logic though. No way a senator, even one in a scandal, doesn't have enough clout to keep a cyber hacker in jail. That Willa was released without jail time seems a bit naïve for the situation. Everyone knows that a hacker can do massive damage and be more dangerous than a murderer in the right situation. The fact that she shows no remorse also makes her a sociopath so letting her out without consequences is going to come back to haunt them.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the surprise twists
Best Pep Talk - Mundo talks about a mission to find a sleeper cell to help motivate Krumitz in his frustration
Most Out of Control - Krumitz who is bound and determined to do anything to find L0m1s
Most Interesting Idea - phones can be hijacked and held for ransom
Biggest Laugh - all the people are protesting being taken off except the punk kid with a Mohawk
Biggest Douche - their new overlord, Vickner
Biggest Surprise - the teen girl is the ultimate hacker
Best Catch - Avery calls out Krumitz for breaking the law in order to bust L0m1s
Best Quotes -
1. Simon: "Yeah well, privacy is a myth. Personal info is the new commodity."
2. Krumitz: "So you just quit. You gave up." Mundo: "No. There's a big difference between quitting and just knowing when it's not your day."
3. Vickner: "You're not gonna try to hug me know, are you?' Simon: "No, in fact my job practically guarantees I'm gonna be a constant pain in your a**."
4. Avery: "Mr. Hart, in my line of work, just a kid doesn't mean anything."
5. Krumitz: "Tell us why. Why did you do it?" Willa: "Because I wanted to. I was bored. I did it because I could."

Backstrom - 1.13 - Rock Bottom (series finale)

This episode starts off fairly typical but then turns surprisingly emotional at the end and I'm still not sure how I feel about that. It was a lot of emoangsting in a usually funny show. I am clear that Backstrom was one of the biggest surprises of the 2014-2015 TV season for me. I dreaded watching the pilot because I am not a fan of anti-hero pricks and that's all the promos made Backstrom out to be. Surprisingly I liked the pilot and especially the characters. I've not seen a more diverse team on any cop show and I don't mean the casting. And that's what made it so awesome. The interactions between them as they've stepped up to carry one another has enriched the genre and the overall humor made it easier to skim over Backstrom's more flagrant obnoxiousness. So is the fact that the team and Valentine call him out on it. In the end, I am really sorry that this show did not catch on with people. It's the rare cop show with actual heart and I will miss the characters a lot. I wish all involved the best and thank them all for making my week better for having been entertained by them. So long Special Unit team. So long Valentine and Deb. May you live forever on streaming and in fan fic.

Grade: B for episode / B+ for overall

Best Reason to Watch - everyone supports Backstrom against his father
Best Aww Moment - Valentine gives Backstrom his mom's bowl that he rescued and Backstrom asks his mom for a sign that he did the right thing
Best Confrontation - Backstrom with Blue about his mother's suicide
Most Old West - Blue assaults the lawyer and gets him to flee the county
Best Reaction - Backstrom to Blue pounding the bar
Most Fun - Backstrom goes on vacation with Valentine and Lou
The "Say What?" Award - I'm so glad Valentine is not a cop. He sucks at it and only makes things worse.
Most Surprising - Backstrom actually says, "Bros before hos." / Backstrom takes a vacation even if it is to try to pin something on his father
Best Timing - the entire team
Most Disgusting - Niedermayer puts his hand inside Rocha's wound to keep him from bleeding out
Most Honest - Backstrom at the AA meeting
Strangest Place for a Court Meeting - at a bar while the judge eats
Worst at Spying - Valentine, who almost gets them caught
Best Quotes -
1. Niedermayer: "That's certainly intimidating." Almond: "Am I going to get cancer here?" Niedermayer: "Uh, if you don't drink the water, touch the soil, or breathe the air you should be fine."
2. Deb: "It is my official recommendation to the Chief of Police that you be relieved of active duty due to your imminent and inevitable oath." Backstrom: "And what are you planning to do with that?" Deb: "Because the Hippocratic Oath prevents me from shoving it up your a** I intend to deliver it to Chief Cervantes today."
3. Valentine: "Little man in big boot making everyone do what he wants. Big man in a little pond. Your son Everett Backstrom is twice the cop you are and you should be proud of him." Blue: "Who do you think you are?" Valentine: "Well, I'm Louise Finster's son." Backstrom: "Valentine." Valentine: "And I'm your son. So what you have here is two sons telling their old man to go to hell."
4. Backstrom: "You're in on this?" Valentine: "If I have to make peace with my mother, why shouldn't you make peace with yours?"
5. Valentine: "I know how to work handcuffs." Backstrom: "These aren't the gay, fun-filled, furry lined kind, okay? He slips out of these, you're going to get a lot more than a spanking." Valentine: "Promises, promises."
6. Blue: "I don't appreciate being interrupted." Lawyer: "Where are we? Deadwood?"

TBBT - 8.23 - The Maternal Combustion

This is my favorite Big Bang Theory episode so far this year and the first time it's been in contention for Show of the Week. It's all because of the mothers. I have always adored when Mary Cooper is on the show. Even when I don't see her, like the episode where Sheldon and Penny are in an escalating prank fight, she is golden. She often puts Sheldon in his place, which is another reason to love her. Beverly Hofstadter is harder for me. I don't believe in Freudian psychology so a lot of what she says is nonsense to me and it usually goes for bathroom humor. I think I was as nervous about the two moms meeting as their children were but it ended up being golden. I loved the Mary versus Beverly verbal smack down in the living room. Both actresses did a masterful job and Penny trying to settle things down was perfect. I believe in the power of the facepalm and so I laughed throughout. Here's hoping that Beverly can unwind a bit and give Leonard the love he deserves. Initially I was annoyed when the show turned from the mothers to Howard and friends cleaning, but the Annie sing-a-long was fantastic too.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - both Sheldon and Leonard's mothers
Best Scene - Mary vs. Beverly
Most Funny - Penny pretending her ring is a drill
Most Awkward - the hug between Leonard and his mother
Best Reference - Raj, Howard, and Stuart sing Hard Knock Life from Annie
Best Quotes -
1. Mary: "When your mom gets back, I'm gonna need to apologize for the way I spoke to her." Penny: "Well come on now. She did kind of start it." Mary: "It doesn't matter. A good Christian would have turned the other cheek. On the other hand, a good Texan would have shot her so I kind of split the difference."
2. Leonard: "Even with your mother here, you are deliberately hogging all the attention from my mom. You're like one of those elephant seal pups that steals the milk from 2 mothers." Sheldon: "Do you mean what marine biologists refer to as super weaning?" Leonard: "Yes, you're a super weaner." Sheldon: "Well now I have to correct you. As a bit of an elephant seal buff, the more accurate comparison would be when 2 mother seals actively seek to nourish the same pup so I believe the term you're looking for is a double mother suckler." Leonard: "Yeah, you're right. That is the term I'm looking for. You are a dirty, double mother suckler." Sheldon: "Okay well now that we have the terminology straightened out, how dare you!"
3. Leonard: "As soon as she flies into California air space, I'll feel a disturbance in the Force."
4. Amy: "His mom gets roses. When I want them, they're a bouquet of severed plant genitals." Sheldon: "You act like I didn't get you that mushroom log on Valentine's Day." Amy: "He's right. Roses die, but a moist, rotting log will pump out mushrooms for 2 or 3 magical years."
5. Howard: "I mean for awhile everything was vampires. Now it's all zombies. I wonder what the next monster fad will be." Raj: "Well we haven't had a good invisible man for awhile." Stuart: "Clearly you haven't seen me try to talk to a woman."
6. Sheldon: "Listen. Leonard's mom is a renowned psychiatrist and woman of science. Can you please keep the Bible babble to yourself while she is here." Mary: "Are you ashamed of me?" Sheldon: "Of course not. I love you. I'm just embarrassed by the things you believe, do, and say." Mary: "Well I love you too, my little bowl of lion chow."
7. Sheldon: "I was a handful." Leonard: "You still are."

Grimm - 4.20 - You Don't Know Jack

To be honest, the best part of this episode for me was confirmation that both Mama Grimm and Trubel will return in the last couple of episodes. It was a huge mistake sending Trubel off and I hope they've realized that now. Fair warning - if they kill off Mama Grimm or Trubel but leave Juliette or Adalind, I will be the one howling for vengeance. It will also kill off any interest I still have in Grimm. Stop getting rid of the best characters and leaving the most annoying ones, Grimm writers. As for this episode, I cannot believe what I am seeing. They are actually trying to redeem Adalind's character. In one episode, the main characters go from rightfully hating Adalind for what she's done to listening to her whining with some sympathy to actually worrying about her. I'm sorry but that's not going to happen with me. Redeem her all you want. Ignore the fact that she's the most self-centered and selfish character on the show, which has nothing to do with being a hexenbiest by the way. Take her completely out of character and even make her the new Juliette. I don't care. I'm never going to want Princess Pity Party anything but dead. This character should have gone long ago. Still with HexenJuliette doing her own screeching, it's a tie on which character needs to die most for me. On the plus side, we did get Bud at his most delightfully tongue tied. Not happy about the hints that Renard is Jack the Ripper incarnate though.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the cliffhanger
Best Scene - Juliette attacks
Best Idea EVER - Getting Trubel back. They never should have sent her off.
The "Ain't Gonna Happen" Award - Nope writers. Not gonna happen. You can try to tell me Adalind's side of the story all you want. You can take away her hexenpowers to make her vulnerable. You can get Rosalee to somewhat sympathize with her. It's still not going to make me want Adalind any less dead even if you make her the new Juliette. Adalind is way past her expiration date. Kill her.
Weirdest Recap - Adalind recaps 2 seasons of her storyline to her mom's casket for NO REASON at all
Worst Plan - putting the only concoction that can cure Juliette in a glass bottle and then giving it to her
Best News - both Mama Grimm and Trubel are returning
Biggest Historical Rewrite - Jack the Ripper as a Grimm
The "Say It Isn't So" Award - Are they really going for Renard being possessed by Jack the Ripper? I hope not. He's too good to be stuck with such silly plotlines again.
Family Crest or Cheap CGI? - the skull that pops up in the dead mom reduction is the same from Adalind's baby last season
The "Safety First" Award - I watched that episode of Bones when they explained how toxic bone dust is. Rosalee and Adalind ought to be wearing masks here.
The "New Trailer" Award - Monroe and Rosalee's basement gets the remaining trailer contents
Most Disgusting - dead mom organ removal
Most Nauseating - Adalind plays the poor, pitiful damsel including fainting and having Nick baby her
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Bud, who makes every episode more fun with his stuttering
Best Quotes -
1. Hank: "Maybe the killer isn't Wesen." Wu: "Well that'd be a nice change of pace."
2. Monroe: "Nick thinks the killer who did the killing wasn't actually the killer who did the killing because the killing was done by a killer who'd been dead a long time."
3. Juliette: "When are you all going to learn that I like who I am?" Nick: "Well we don't." Juliette: "Well that's just too damn bad. You made me. Now get used to it."
4. Rosalee: "Now all we've got to do is get Juliette to take it." Monroe: "Oh that will be snap cause, you know, the last time she took something we gave…boy, that worked out like gangbusters."
5. Nick: "How do you feel?" Adalind: "Like I just drank my mother."

The Messengers - 1.03 - Path to Paradise

The Messengers is becoming more intriguing the more the characters' individual loose ends are being tied up. As a bunch of different stories loosely tied together, it doesn't work. As a group that understands it has a common mission and accepts that, it moves forward rapidly. Now the Raul's family drama ended in explosion, hopefully he will unite with the others leaving only Vera as the skeptic. It's also why she is the worst character so far. Still it's Rose who is the biggest mystery. She knows more than the others, that's for sure and yet she's doling out info piecemeal. I don't get it when this is certainly an example of the more you know the easier it will be. For instance, they all need to know what the devil looks like and yet when he appears, she doesn't point him out. It's like she wants them to meet him on their own and fall for his schemes. Maybe that's the point but it feels counterintuitive right now. Overall though, this show keeps getting better with this episode by far the best. Here's hoping the CW allows it to run its course.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - the plot
Best Scene - Raul meets the devil after his brother dies
The "I Don't Get It" Award - Why isn't Rose pointing out Lucifer to the rest of them? Shouldn't they know their adversary?
Biggest Hmm - How did Erin know what the guy in Joshua's vision looked like?
Biggest Ugh - having an affair with your sister-in-law
Most Annoying - Vera, still
Least Surprising - Leo is actually the noble guy who left Vera so she wouldn't have to take care of him with Huntington's disease
Most Surprising - Peter is arrested already
Weirdest Power - ability to leave your body and spirit walk
The "Welcome Back" Award - Justin Bruening from Ringer and Grey's Anatomy
Best Quotes -
1. Alan: "Planetary geologist. Did he rock your world?"
2. Alan: "Why do I always go for the crazy ones?"
3. Rose: "What matters is that we're together now."

Community - 6.08 - Intro to Recycled Cinema

Grade: B (but A+ for the Jeff and Abed scenes)

Best Reason to Watch - Abed and Jeff interaction
Best Scene - Abed talks to Jeff about plans falling apart
Best Awww Scene - the group hug
The "Say What?" Award - The Mayor of Outer Space? Huh? How does that work?
Saddest State of Society - At first I wondered how Chang could make it in Hollywood. Then I remembered the Kardashians and everything became crystal clear.
Best Reference - Chris Pratt
The "Welcome Back" Award - Steve Guttenberg from the 80's / Randall Park from Fresh Off the Boat
Best Quotes -
1. Abed: "But I can't just burn up my cop drama. It's my only chance at the mainstream success I need before I'm allowed to make weird stuff for money. It's my American Graffiti, my Elephant Man, my Four Rooms - the Robert Rodriguez segment."
2. Abed: "So we keep the cameras rolling and we edit out the parts we don't like and we stop thinking about Chris Pratt so much because it is not healthy." Jeff: "Will you do me a favor?" Abed: "I'd never tell anybody about our private conversations. I wouldn't really know how." Jeff: "Let's cut my stupid scene out of this piece of cr**."
3. Annie: "Did you ever really know his name?" Elroy: "The Chinese fella right, whose name is some kind of noise. Um, Clang, Bang, Meringue."
4. Abed: "I had a real life former cop help me with the dialogue. Real life former cops aren't great with dialogue."
5. Abed: "Are you nuts? What is wrong with you?' Jeff: "Every single one of you is going to leave here except for me. Troy, Shirley, Annie's going to be president. Even Pierce got to die. Now Chang goes to Hollywood so we force you to make the cr** movie of all time and then we force you to make it even cr** and we watch it and it's still not even that bad. And the part I accidentally got the most excited about is the 7 minutes we can cut. Do you know what that means?" Abed: "It means I'm a genius but we already knew that."

Cancellation and Renewal Predictions:

It's upfront season again when we will know whether our favorite shows are coming back or not. Since everyone and their cousin are predicting what will and will not be cancelled, I thought I'd join in. Mind you, this is NOT what I want to happen but what I expect will. At the end, I put my scorecard of the wins, losses, and tossups of the season for me. With 11 losses, this is a bigger cancellation season for me than usual. Last year most of my favorite comedies got slaughtered but this year it's all about the dramas sadly.

Cancelled - Agent Carter, American Crime, Cristela, Forever, Galavant, Last Man Standing, Resurrection,
Renewed - Black-ish, Castle, Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, The Middle, Modern Family, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Secrets & Lies, SHIELD

Cancelled - Battle Creek, CSI, CSI: Cyber, Hawaii 5-0, The McCarthys, Stalker
Renewed - Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, Elementary, The Good Wife, NCIS, NCIS:LA, The Odd Couple, Person of Interest

Cancelled - Hart of Dixie, The Messengers
Renewed - iZombie

Cancelled - Backstrom, The Following, Weird Loners
Renewed - Bones, The Mindy Project

Cancelled - About a Boy, AD, American Odyssey, Constantine, Marry Me, One Big Happy, State of Affairs
Renewed - Mysteries of Laura, The Night Shift, Undateable

My TV Scorecard, 2014-2015:

Wins (shows I love likely renewed) - The 100, The Blacklist, Empire, The Flash, Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, How to Get Away with Murder, iZombie, NCIS:LA, Scorpion (10)

TossUps (shows that could go either way without much emotion from me) - TBBT, Criminal Minds, Elementary, Grimm, Jane the Virgin, The Messengers, The Odd Couple, Resurrection, SHIELD, State Of Affairs, Supernatural (11)

Losses (shows I am going to miss) - AD, Agent Carter, Allegiance, Backstrom, Battle Creek, CSI: Cyber, Forever, Galavant, Manhattan Love Story, Red Band Society, Stalker (11)

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for The 100, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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