Monday, October 12, 2015

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

Hello and welcome back to Last Week in TV. I hope your TV week was as good as mine was. I'm a big fan of CW premiere week and this week's nomination was Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which is a personal favorite. If you have a show to nominate, please fill out the short form below. No need to add weekly shows. I use a number generator to randomly pick the nominated episode and next week it will be the Nashville pilot. Since I've never seen an episode of Nashville before, it should be fun. While I'm still horribly behind already, having no pilots debut helped me catch up on a few shows and a few more look to be heading for cancellation. Hopefully none of your favorites. A big thanks again to our guest reviewers for adding more shows to discuss. I appreciate all of them and you for reading. Until next week, happy TV viewing.

Nominated Episode

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - all 3 parts

I adore Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog so much that I watch it every year. Therefore, it was pure pleasure to review this web mini-series. For those unacquainted with the show, Neil Patrick Harris plays a villain trying to get into the Evil League of Evil. He keeps getting thwarted by the most douchey superhero ever, Captain Hammer, played by Nathan Fillion. Rounding out the trio is Felicia Day, who plays love interest to both. Yeah, there's a love triangle. Yeah, I despise love triangles to my core. Nope, it doesn't matter one jot in the pure pleasure this show gives me. I even suffer through watching this thing on iTunes. Trust me, that's a big deal. Still it's not for everyone. It's definitely a spoof driven mostly by NPH monologues, so if you're not into him it will be non-starter for you. Plus it's a musical, which for me makes everything better but your mileage may vary. There's also zero budget for special effects. If you can take it for what it is, a bunch of creative people passing away the writers' strike and having a little fun, it's fantastic. In fact, it is what Scream Queens tried to be but failed in that it takes a tired genre (superheroes) and pokes fun at it through exaggeration but still maintains its heart.

If you're still with me but still hesitant, at least try it out. After all, all 3 parts together clock in at slightly under 45 minutes so it's the length of your average TV drama these days. Plus Nathan Fillion does his best work here. I confess that I'm usually not of fan of his work because he often comes off as overly hammy to me. However, that's exactly what his part needs as the bully disguised as a superhero. He also has a decent singing voice so no fear of the bumps that Once More with Feeling had. Felicia Day is also a marvel as the wide-eyed ingénue just trying to make the world a better place. The original geek of the three leads, she has her own web series called The Guild but this is my favorite role for her with Charlie from Supernatural being second. Not only does she have great pipes for this but it's a sweet role that enhances the other two. Still it's Neil Patrick Harris' show. He's simply stunning as the super villain with a heart and a desire to make the world a better place - through ruling it. In 40-ish minutes, he becomes a more complete character than many TV show characters do after multiple seasons. In the end though, the real hero and star is the dialogue. It's sharp and crisp like the very best of Joss Whedon. It even inspired one of my favorite TV phrases - "What a crazy, random happenstance." Do yourself a favor and check out Dr. Horrible. You may just find yourself making it a yearly tradition like me, despite the cheesy low-grade special effects.

Grade:  A-

Best Reason to Watch - the Whedon-written sparkling dialogue
Best Scene - Horrible goes bad after Hammer gets with Penny
Best Song - Brand New Day (lyrics wise, not special effects wise)
Worst Song - So They Say
Most Fun Songs / Best Things Ever - the Bad Horse henchmen interludes
Best Character - Billy / Dr. Horrible
Best Section - Act 2
Best Acting - Act 3
Best Reaction - Dr. Horrible to Captain Hammer talking about curtains
Best Dichotomy - Dr. Horrible and Penny's different viewpoint on human nature in the song "My Eyes"
Best Headline: Country Mourns What's-Her-Name
Best Guest Appearance - Simon Helberg, who had only 8 episodes as Howard on The Big Bang Theory before the writers' strike during which this was created
Best Cameo - Marti Noxon, who took over Buffy
Best Exaggeration (not character) - Horrible's oversized chair of evil
Best Atmosphere - the music during "Slipping"
Biggest Douche - Captain Hammer
Biggest Agreement - neither Moist nor I are at all into Horrible's cheesy catchphrases
Least Effective - Hammer stops the heist only to let Dr. Horrible take off with the cargo because he's too busy flirting with Penny
Most Hammy - Nathan Fillion
Most Cheesy - the special effects
Most Interesting Date - Penny takes Captain Hammer to the homeless shelter for dinner
Most Quotable - "What a crazy, random happenstance."
Most Optimistic - Penny's Song
Most Scary - the fangirls and fanboy, who act like internet fangirls and fanboys
Strangest Potential Gift - Australia
The "Don't Kiss and Tell" Award - Captain Hammer really needs to learn when to shut his mouth. Like now.
The "If I Laugh, Am I a Terrible Person?" Award - "Everyone's a Hero" is such a tacky, offensive, and completely funny song

1. Horrible: "How are things with cheesy on the outside?"
2. Horrible: "You're kidding. What a crazy, random happenstance."
3. Horrible: "I'm not gonna kill a little kid." Moist: "Smother an old lady?" Horrible: "Do I even know you?"
4. Hammer: "But home is where the heart is / So your real home's in your chest."
5. Horrible: "I saw Penny today." Moist: "You talk to her?" Horrible: "So close. I'm just a few weeks away from a real audible connection."
6. Horrible: "I want to do great things, you know. I want to be an achiever like Bad Horse." Penny: "The thoroughbred of sin?" Horrible: "I meant Gandhi."
7. Bad Horse Henchmen: "He saw the operation you tried to pull today / But your humiliation means he still votes nay / And now assassination is just the only way / There will be blood and it might be yours / So go kill someone. Signed, Bad Horse"
8. Penny: "He's a really good looking guy and I thought he was kind of cheesy at first." Horrible: "Trust your instincts."

Episode of the Week

Quantico - 1.02 - America

Now that is more like it. I was iffy on the premiere, but I really liked this follow up. It had the best pacing of the week. Mostly I enjoyed the combination of brains and action, which is helped along by the mixture of past and present scenes. Those can be tricky to sell to an audience but I thought they were very well done here. In fact, they are the reason that this episode narrowly surpasses The Flash premiere to become my show of the week. By switching up the timeline, nothing has time to get stale or frustrating. It also helps that every single person in this show is hiding something, giving us a wealth of suspects and for once I have no clue which one it is pointing to. As long as the writers do, I'm good with getting the information piecemeal and in hints - provided none of them are too long drawn out. So far so good on this front. I'm also pleasantly surprised by how intriguing the training at Quantico has been. I thought that would be the part to drag but the puzzles are complex enough to keep me actively engaged as a viewer. If the show continues in this vein, it will become the second new show to make it on the weekly viewing list.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - every single person here is hiding something so everything is suspicious
Best Scene - Alex shows everyone up in the Quantico test
Best Action - Natalie vs. Alex
Best Logic - Alex realizes that no public school teacher can afford first class anything so Liam is tricking them
Best Addition - Natalie Vasquez, who pushes Alex to be better in everything
Best Twist- Shaw already knows about the twins
Biggest Douche - Caleb, still. I don't care about his little rich boy woes.
Least Competent - The FBI because Alex goes across the street from her own apartment to collect evidence and the FBI have no one outside to see her…or to keep someone from entering the crime scene, which she does when the team pulls out
Most Unsettling - Someone put a fake wall in Alex's bathroom to get easy access to her apartment
Worst Plan - Natalie finds Alex in her apartment but doesn't call for backup immediately once Alex locks herself in the bathroom. By trying to be a hero, she just looks incompetent.
The "Say What?" Award - Caleb is now an analyst? How does a washed out party boy get that gig? Oh yeah, his family connections.
The "How Does This Help?" Award - Why would Booth say Alex shot him? Wouldn't it make more sense to say that he couldn't see anything and allow them to fill him in on what they know about Alex? You can pretend to think someone's guilty without adding fake evidence to the fire.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Rick Cosnett, formerly Eddie on The Flash (RIP buddy)

Best Quotes -
1. Booth: "You ever think your trust issues impact your ability to see clearly. You read my file. What does it say?" Alex: "Unlike you and these e-mails, I don't believe everything I read."
2. Alex: "The exercise was built on information provided to us by you, but information is only worth anything if you trust the source that it came from. So I went back to the rooms to see what I hadn't seen before. You were playing us and you even left clues in each room to taunt us."
3. Shelby: "How are you guys not exhausted? It's like we have the Olympics in the morning and then we have to pass the Bar every afternoon."
4. Liam: "The needs of the Bureau…" Shaw: "Funny, they never finish that sentence but we somehow always know what they mean."
5. Shaw: "Evidence lies. Information can be spun. Your intellect may have gotten you here but it will be your instincts that will make you special agents. This exercise was set up for you to fail. Use it. Learn from it."

Guest Reviews

Criminal Minds - 11.02 - The Witness
By Emma

Last week’s premiere was firing on all cylinders. This week - not so much. It wasn’t a bad episode per se. The acting was great, especially by guest star Tim Kang; I was just bored. There was no mention of the hit man group so now I’m not sure if that really was a set up for a season long arc or the writers were just pointing out that Morgan really hates being blown up. Dr. Lewis is meshing well with the team but overall there was very little humor, no sassy Rossi at all, and even Garcia seemed subdued. The COTW had some great twists but it still lacked a sense of urgency. To steal a quote from Garcia, this episode was just beige.

Grade: C+

Best Reason To Watch – COTW had a great twist on a typical cheating spouse storyline
Best Scene – Charlie completely flips out on the Unsub over the phone (Tim Kang knocked it out of the park here)
Best Character Interaction – Lewis and Reid discussing “Synchronicity”
Best Teamwork – the whole team, including the local FBI agents the BAU is working with, figures out that Charlie is indeed a killer, just not the one they are looking for
Worst FBI Job – watching six weeks of security footage from bus stops
The “Wait, When Did That Happen” Award – When did Reid get fish?
The “Welcome Back” Award – Marisol Nichols from 24 and Tim Kang from The Mentalist

Best Quotes –
1. Garcia: “One man’s cowardice is another man’s wise risk aversion.”
2. Garcia: “Charlie reminds me of the color beige.”
3. Garcia: "His internet search history…hot magma of homicidal rage doesn’t even begin to cover it.”
4. Reid: “You’d be surprised what someone with a broken heart will do.”

Heroes Reborn - 1.04 - The Needs of the Many
By Laura Markus

Based on how sad the episode made me, I thought I was going to give it a terrible review. For the tears I shed, it deserved an F. But in reality, it was a really well done episode, the best of the entire show so far. Every character seemed to be a bit more fleshed out. We finally got to see Malina and Farrah, Luke and Joanne are at an emotional crossroads, Tommy's in trouble, Taylor has disbanded from working with her mom and has joined forces with Noah and Quentin, and more. I think they dealt with certain issues very well (Luke's apparent depression and how he first reacted to killing people, Molly killing herself for the greater good, etc.). However, Tim Kring's obsession with killing off characters who appeared on the original series is going too far. Two are already dead. If he touches Matt Parkman, I might have to prepare my pitchforks.

Grade: A

Best Reason to Watch - Molly's sacrifice. She ultimately killed herself for the greater good, to save everybody. It'll make you cry, but it's worth it.
Best Scene - Joanne finding out Luke has a power and her reactions.
Funniest Scene - Yet again, a Quentin and Noah scene.
Biggest Tease - Noah's reference to Sylar.
Best Indirect Reference - The scene of Luke and Joanne's tearful fight was oddly similar to that of Chuck and Sarah from Chuck.
Creepiest Special Effects - The bodies of EVOs are being contained in Renautas, but there were just so many of them! And the way they were set up! Super creepy.
Saddest Moment - Molly's death scene. RIP - I will miss you.
Best Callback - Tommy asking, "You ever get the feeling you were meant to do something extraordinary?"

Best Quotes -
1. Farrah: "Watch yourself, child. I know grown men who would shake in their boots if they knew the fate of the world was in their hands." Malina: "Good thing I'm not a grown man."
2. Quentin: "Look at these people, they're digital sheep peddling their free bikes, eating their precious free sushi. Completely blind to everything that's going on around them." Noah: "You worked here for almost a year before you said anything." Quentin: "It's really good sushi."
3. Quentin: "If they're really sucking out Molly's power, they're probably doing the same thing to Phoebe. Turning her into some kind, a shadowblaster, or something. [...] What? It's a thing. It could be a thing. You don't know!"
4. Joanne: "Things change, Luke. You gotta keep changing with 'em."
5. Quentin: "That's the guy that took my sister. Or, at least, one of them is." Noah: "Hit the ground on the count of three." Quentin: "Wait, what?" Noah: "One." Quentin: "What if they know where she is?" Noah: "Two." Quentin: "I hate your face, Bennet."
6. Luke: "Remember the first one we killed?" Joanne: "Of course." Luke: "Afterward, you were so content. You were so blissfully satisfied. I have never seen anyone sleep so soundly. I spent the rest of that night hunched over a toilet." Joanne: "Why are you saying this now?" Luke: "We lost our son, Joanne. For the last year I've been so terrified that I would lose you too. And the truth is, I have lost you. I have lost myself. We have lost each other." Joanne: "I really did love you."
7. Noah: "Molly, I'm just here to help." Molly: "People have been telling me that my entire life. But all they wanna do is use me for my power. You should understand that better than anyone." Noah: "I'm not proud of my past, you know if I could change it-" Molly: "Forget about the past, Noah. This is about so much more than you, and me, and June 13th. I was there in the hospital when your daughter died." Noah: "What happened?" Molly: "We all knew what was at stake, and we agreed to do whatever was necessary, to keep them safe. Erica tried to take everything from me. But I was strong. I was really strong. And I didn't give her the location." Noah: "Of what?" Molly: "If I tell you, you won't go back. And then, we're all dead anyway." Noah: "You're not making any sense." Molly: "I can't stop Erica, but I will not let her kill seven billion people." Noah: "Molly, put the gun down, and let's talk. Okay? You're the only one who can tell me what happened on June 13th." Molly: "Forget the past, Noah. Save the future."

Once Upon a Time - 5.02 - The Price
By Missions

The season premiere was already amazing; however, this episode was just excellent! Last week’s episode ended with a flash-forward, taking place six weeks after everyone had entered Camelot and presenting a full dark Emma to us, the “Dark Swan”. In “The Price” those two stories were being told at once, on the one hand in flashbacks we could slowly see how things developed once the whole crew entered Camelot and on the other hand, how in Storybrooke they were trying to retrace their memories while the Dark Swan revealed secrets of her own and moved the storyline rapidly. So much happened in this episode that it's difficult to decide where to start. The biggest surprise to me in this episode was Fury taking Robin and the entire team trying to save him which thankfully happened! Damn, that scene was all kinds of epic. We had many great character interactions, my favorite being the one between Regina and the Dark Swan where she tells Regina about “The Price”. Jennifer Morrison is doing an excellent job at portraying someone that dark yet deep down so hurt. Additionally, I thought it was adorable how Mary and David tried to teach Regina how to dance before everything went to hell at the actual ball. However, the highlight of this episode was definitely the ending in my opinion. The Dark One’s monologue leading to the reveal that the Dark Swan also brought the Excalibur to Storybrooke and finally to the scene where she TRIES to pull it out of the stone in order to reconnect it with the dagger. Absolute perfection, the scene gave me goose bumps! Overall, it was a fantastic episode with tons of character development, interesting interactions and more mysteries setting up the fifth season which seems like it could be my favorite season after of course the exceptional season 1. I completely adore this show and am loving the direction they are going in. Kudos to the writers and directors.

Grade: A

Best Reason to Watch - Everything that happened in this episode, lol. The Dark Swan is absolutely creepy and intriguing. The Camelot storyline is very interesting and I think it will lead up to something big.
Best Scene – Everyone saves Robin to stop Fury (amazing scene!!) / The Dark One’s ending monologue leading up to the Dark Swan trying to remove Excalibur from the stone which gave me goose bumps and definitely left me wanting more.
Best Character Development – Like last week, both Emma and the Dark Swan. Yes, actually both were different characters this episode. Emma had great character development back in Camelot when she saves Robin and the Dark Swan in Storybrooke as well, of course!
Character That Is Starting to Grow On Me – What a surprise, Henry! Finally, I thought this episode he was not as annoying as usual. The whole love interest thing is a bit weird to me but could go in the right direction.
Favorite Character - Regina! I love Regina and I think it is really interesting to see her wanting to be the “Savior”. Besides, her one-liners are priceless.
Most Cringe-Worthy Scene - When David stabs Percival with his sword yet there is no blood on his sword. That makes no sense. They really need to work on such aspects. Every aspect counts!
Best CGI Effect – Everyone saves Robin and stops Fury. While not the best, I thought it was far better than most of the effects on the show. They also really have to work on that.
The “Eye Candy” Award – I know this is a weird award, but for me it goes to Hook and David. They are both so handsome and I realized it again in this episode!! Regina is stunning as well.
Storyline I Am Most Looking Forward To - Seeing if the Dark Swan can actually remove Excalibur from the stone and reconnect it with the dagger. / Of course finding out how Emma became dark. / Finding out more about Merlin’s state /And last but not least, to see if Regina can indeed become the “Savior”.

Best Quotes –
1. Grumpy: “Snow Queen, Pan, Trio of Terror. We can handle villains like that but Emma. She knows how we beat the bad guys. Heck, she beat most of them for us."
2. Regina: “I should be figuring out how to free Merlin, not fox trotting my way across Club Medieval”
3. Regina: “If you’re dumb enough to cross the line, be my guest.”
4. Emma: “You want to believe you’re the savior then step up and do what needs to be done.”
5. Hook: “I spent over a century trying to find a way to kill the bloody crocodile. I can spend at least that long trying to save the woman I love.”
6. Regina: “I could kill them with the swipe of my hand.”

SHIELD - 3.02 - Purpose in the Machine
By Swanpride

"The Well" is one of my least favorite episodes in season one (which is saying something), and the aspect I like the least about it is Professor Randolph. I really like the actor, but I feel that he was miscast for this particular role, which in itself borders on annoying. So while it is nice to know that everything we have seen in the show can become relevant again at any point, I was kind of nervous going into the episode.
I shouldn't have worried. The show runners did more or less everything right. They start out with a cold opening which immediately had my attention since it was so unexpected, and then, to my great surprise, the episode continues exactly where it left off last week. And like last week, there is still some catching up to do. We learn what May and Ward have been up to and a lot of time is spent on character studies of the various team members. I'll be honest here, the science treasure hunt in the episode feels a little bit contrived and too many pieces fall into place a little bit too conveniently, but the build up to an incredible gripping rescue scene is so well done that it doesn't really matter. It is rare that a show can suck me in that well. In my mind I knew that Fitz would most likely succeed, but the whole scene was so well staged, I was trapped in a rollercoaster of emotions and enjoying every second of it. I can't wait to see what the show has in store next.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - A perfectly paced plot with a satisfying climax.
Best Scene - Is there any doubt? Fitz rescuing Simmons is not just the best scene of the episode, it is one of the best the show has ever done.
Best Character Interaction - The team pulling a distraught Fitz away from the Monolith. Oh the feels!
Best Character Moment - A traumatized Simmons snuggling up to Fitz
Best Reaction - Hunter, when he learns that Simmons is safe
Most Creepy - Ward, who has apparently decided to quote Garret's peculiar wisdom to the next generation of Hydra recruits.
Best Addition - Ward's new "protégé". My prediction - he will eventually betray Ward and take over.
Best In-Universe Commentary - Yeah, Baron von Strucker was wasted in more than one sense of the word in Age of Ultron. Hopefully the show has better use for his son.
Biggest Head Scratcher - What was the point of Professor Randolph in prison? Just some unfunny jokes?

Best Quotes -
1. Ward: "What is the point of a boat if you never take it out of the dock? It's like camping in the living room."
2. Coulson: "This is why I got rid of all the S.H.I.E.L.D. logos in our vehicles. It's like screaming for attention." Bobby: "You know, there's a ginormous eagle symbol on top of our jet."
3. Hunter: "Fitz, you absolute beauty!"

Weekly Shows

American Horror Story: Hotel - 5.01 - Checking In

Nope. Just nope. Even with Matt Bomer, this is not a show for me. I find the excessive nudity and gratuitous, graphic violence…well, excessive and gratuitous. So much so that it distracts from what could be a very interesting tale. Of course that also supposes the show would spend more time in the flashbacks because they really were the most interesting part of the premiere. The present day stuff dragged on in an already overly long episode, causing the pacing to be stuck in the mud. By about 20 minutes in, I was staring at the clock wondering if the Countess had stopped time too. Still the visuals, minus the wannabe Hannibal-death art, were stunning and whoever made the sets should be lauded because they are fantastic.

Grade: C-

Best Reason to Watch - the back story of Donovan and Iris and Sally
Best Scene - flashback to Donovan's death
MVP - set designer for these lavish hotel sets
Best Character - Iris
Most Intriguing - the Countess
Best Horror Trope - creepy, silent kids in the hall
Best Matched Couple - Donovan and the Countess, who not only have synchronized sex but they also synchronize their kills
Best Room - the kids' videogame room
Most Likely to Get Hired as Cruella De Vil - the Countess
Most Shoddy Police Work - if he thinks it was a credible threat, then why didn't he call the police on patrol to get there first and bring back up
Stupidest People on Earth - the couple that goes back to the hotel for the orgy / the kid who gets out of the police car
Worst Pre-Death and Orgy Decision - sharing needles
Weirdest Casting - Lady Gaga
The "Nope, No Way" Award - I don't care if there was no room in any inn, I would not stay there ever. Ever.
The "Say What?" Award- Matt Bomer is Kathy Bates' son in this one? Who knew?
The "Welcome Back" Award - Matt Bomer, who I miss terribly as Neal Caffrey on White Collar
Best Music - Downtown by Petula Clark
Most Obvious Music - Hotel California by the Eagles

Best Quotes -
1. John: "Sorry I'm late. Did you get my text?" Alex: "Yes and it's clearly more considerate than you because it showed up at 6 like you were supposed to."
2. Sally: "I've seen what your caring looks like. We've all seen it." Iris: "Yeah well at least I care about something. You think I want to be here surrounded by junkies and decay?" Sally: "Well then why don't you leave? Go. You've been whining about the same thing for 20 years. You talk a good talk but you stick around because the truth is you like it." Iris: "No. I'm stuck in this godforsaken cesspool of pain and sh** because of you. You're the beginning and the end of all my suffering." Sally: "Good."
3. Alex: "I love you so much. He just looked so much like you. I see him in your face every day and I just want to die. It's not fair they took my little boy from me and I can't even look at the one person in the world who understands how I feel. I just need a break from it all." John: "You have to hope." Alex: "I can't stop hoping. That's the worst part."
4. Liz Taylor: "I'm sorry. This is a no-tell motel."
5. Countess: "Messes are always forgiven…the first time."

TBBT - 9.03 - The Bachelor Party Corrosion

I think I'm picking the wrong TBBT episodes to review because last week's was vastly superior to both the premiere and this episode. The biggest problem with this one was that it was boring. I guess some might find the 32 different ways to NOT get a lug nut off entertaining but I kept wondering why they didn't just call the girls, who could look online for a Mexican tow truck. Worst case scenario, sleep in the van until morning. The girls' night in wasn't any more exciting except we saw Penny's dad again for the first time in what? 5 years? This episode felt like it was an hour long. Good thing episode 9.02 was utterly charming and funny. Otherwise, I would have backburnered TBBT by now.

Grade: C

Best Reason to Watch - Penny's dad comes back
Best Scene / Biggest Laugh - Sheldon sings "We Will Rock You"
Least Surprising - the van goes up in flame
Biggest Shock - I'm with Sheldon. Being kidnapped by friends and taken to some unknown place for the weekend does not sound like fun. I'm too old for that. Give me a place and I'll give you an agenda.
Worst Plan - everything they did besides call the girls to say they have a flat, who could have then called someone in Mexico to help or come to get them
Worst Sign - Sheldon tells Leonard to lighten up. Sheldon.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Keith Carradine (as Penny's father) from Dexter and Deadwood

Best Quotes -
1. Sheldon: "It's bad enough I'm being taken against my will. I don't see why it has to be in some hippy's mobile sex dungeon." Howard: "Well Sheldon, there's something about this van that you're going to find very interesting." Sheldon: "What? It runs on syphilis."
2. Leonard: "Guys, excuse me. Not that calling one of the Avengers isn't a perfectly reasonable choice, but we're scientists. Don't you think we can figure this out using actual science?" Sheldon: "Yes, we could use science but it's your bachelor party. Lighten up."
3. Sheldon: "Viva la Imodium."
4. Bernadette: "Really? They didn't eat him?" Penny: "No, he was a beloved member of the family." Bernadette: "Breakfast meat family?"
5. Raj: "Dude, how many races can you offend in a single breath." Howard: "I don't know. Have you watched the Olympics with me?"

Blacklist - 3.02 - Marvin Gerard

I am utterly fascinated by how much Lizzie is breaking down in this situation. Her almost killing the abusive husband in the diner reminded me a bit of when she had Tom locked up. (By the way, woo hoo that he is back! He's one of my favorite characters.) Liz has always been a collected character so the times in which she is not are her most interesting. Plus it improves her relationship with Red, who is acting full on like a father now. I adored both scenes where he acted like a papa. The first when he snaps Lizzie back into control in the diner and also when he looks on her with so much love as she is starting to hate herself and what's she's become. It was beautifully acted. I also like Ressler better in this one. I respect his desire to catch Liz but I loved how he was willing to risk everything to make sure she wasn't killed first. He's also playing very smart these days. What with figuring out Red's plans twice now. The only thing this episode needed more of was Aram. Otherwise it was well paced with good character bits and moved the story slightly along.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Lizzie continues to fall apart and lean more on Red
Best Scene - Red tells Lizzie to knock it off
MVP - music director
Best Awww Moment - Red tells Lizzie that she's his way home
Best Character Interaction - Red and Lizzie
Best Reason to be Employed by Red - your pension plan includes a vacation home in an anti-extradition island country
Best Twist - Red got them out on a barge
Best Kidnapper - again Red charms as he's holding people at gunpoint
Coolest Invention - the pantry elevator
The "About Time" Award - Cooper is finally in his rightful position as head of the division without blackmail hanging over his head, especially since he turned down the pension
The "Back Off Now" Award - Solomon, I hope Dembe kills you. You suck out loud.
The "Welcome Back" Award (Character) - Tom Keen, woo hoo!!!!
The "Welcome Back" Award (Actor) - Fisher Stevens, formerly guesting on just about everything
Best Music - Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Best Quotes -
1. Red: "That's Polaris, the North Star. That's how sailors used to find their way home. When I look at you, that's what I see. I see my way home."
2. Ressler: "I was ordered to let Keen go and I did. I wasn't ordered to let her die."
3. Gerard: "Let the record reflect that I am complying under duress and that my 4th amendment right to privacy is being violated." Navabi: "As is my right not to be nauseated."
4. Red: "You haven't the slightest clue how to speak to a woman, have you? Now, my friend there and I are having a very important discussion. So you just sit tight, enjoy your muffin, and if I hear you say anything other than 'please' or 'thank you' to Carly, I'm gonna drag you into the men’s room and wash your mouth out with soap. And if that doesn’t work, I'll cut your filthy tongue out with that butter knife. Is that clear enough for you?"
5. Navabi: "You've been briefed?" Gerard: "Rousted out of bed, cavity searched, shackled, transported like livestock - yes. Briefed - no."

CSI: Cyber - 2.01 - Why-Fi

I'm one of the few people who really enjoyed CSI: Cyber last season. Sure it had its flaws and its overly preachy moments, but it had more action than any show about computers has a right to have. I found the crimes interesting and I liked all of the characters by the time the show went on hiatus. This new season starts rough though. First it never explains who the random CSI export is or what he's doing there. Since this is the only CSI that I watch, I was left baffled. He doesn't appear to be taking Simon's place so I'm even more confused. Second, the crime wasn't as intriguing as I would expect from a premiere. This felt like more of a run of the mill episode that could easily have been a third or fourth installment with the exception of Krumitz. For better or worse, CSI: Cyber lives or dies on its case so I wish it had chosen something more action driven. On a positive note, they did spread the attention around so it wasn't Avery-focused. It gave each side character a storyline, even if Raven and Nelson get stuck with the hidden love trope. Blech! Raven deserves so much better.

Wish List:
1. Less overly dramatic explanations
2. More Elijah, more Raven
3. No more series explanation voice over
4. Less fear mongering in general
5. Keep up the interesting info on everyday tech

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - they did a good job of giving everyone a little bit of focus
Best Character Interaction - Avery and the little girl
Best Scene - Krumitz finds out his sister was stalking the guy she shot, not the other way around
Technology to Fear of the Night - any of your child's toys that use wi-fi
Best Friend - Nelson, who is worried about Krumitz even when he snaps at him
Best at Working with Kids - Avery with her doll talk technique
Biggest Hmm - Elijah tells a random bartender about his fathers' cancer
Biggest Shock - Nelson and Raven are together
Biggest Jedi - Nelson
Least Defined - Ted Danson's character. I don't even know why he was in this.
Most Missed - Simon Sifter
Most Like a Frat - cockroach racing
Most Odd - vacuum as eye witness
Most Creepy - A talking doll that helps thieves break into your house. As if a talking doll wasn't creepy enough on its own.
Most Out of Left Field - Ted Danson and Elijah's dad's cancer
The "Whoa, That was a Lot of Exposition" - the opening scene with Ted Danson, whom I vaguely remember was on some other CSI show, feels like a 4 month recap
The "Welcome Back" Award - Ted Danson from Cheers and Becker

Best Quotes -
1. Russell: "You always do that? Bury the lead." Nelson: "Aw, he loves the attention. You know in his mind this is the bridge and he's Captain Kirk."
2. Avery: "Well if he's Obi-Wan, I want to be Yoda."

The Flash - 2.01 - The Man Who Saved Central City

The Flash and iZombie are my two favorite comic-based shows on TV. In fact, they may be the only ones I still like. Having them back makes my TV week. While iZombie disappointed in its premiere, The Flash came back as entertaining as ever until the very end (which knocked it out of the running for best show of the week). I was worried when Barry was trying on the lone wolf outfit. There are far too many emoangsting heroes on TV these days so Barry's optimism and reliance on teamwork over douchery is refreshing. To see him embrace the flip side was heartbreaking. Therefore I am very happy that they created a 6 month time jump. It allowed him to be all emoangsty away from my eyes and actually gave Iris a purpose for being on screen, kind of. She's still pretty peripheral. As always the Joe and Barry scenes were the highlights. Henry however seemed completely out of character. He's been separated from Barry for so long already. Now he's voluntarily keeping them apart? No way. They should have just made Henry a regular and added him into the team. After all if Barry has 2 dads, we all win.

Grade: B+

Wish List:
1. Make Iris NOT completely useless and a waste of time OR kill her. Either one.
2. The vortex cannot be a reset button. Many fan theories include how things will be so much different now that Wells was never born so he couldn't go back into the future so Barry's mom won't be dead so Barry will be a completely different person so……so the theories alone are giving me a headache. Playing with time travel sucks everything up. I'd prefer to pretend it never happened and keeping going with things as usual. Logic issues be damned. (CHECK)
3. Don't break it - the tone and camaraderie is what makes The Flash unique in a world of dreary comic worlds. Don't mess with the optimism and humor levels.
4. Give us a smart villain like Wells was and can the hokey cartoonish ones.
5. Keep the core relationship between Joe and Barry and not romantic ones. (CHECK)

Best Reason to Watch - things get back to their normal entertaining levels fairly quickly so we're not in Guiltville for too long
Best Scene - Henry is released from prison and reunites with Barry. Got to love free father hugs. Also double father hugs.
Best Character Interaction - Joe and Barry of course
Best Advice - focus on the people and not the property when starting to rebuild
Best Snark - Cisco as always
Best Laugh - the new villain, because hoodies are all the rage in cyborg fashion these days
Best Parenting - Joe lays it on the line to Barry, whether he wants to hear it or not
Biggest Awww - Joe hugs a crying baby Barry
Biggest Huh? - Since when does Barry have a Bat signal?
Biggest Ouch - Way to discount Joe and everybody else who has been a part of your family since your mom died, Barry? You have plenty of family and your dad just adds to it.
Biggest Shock - Wells confesses to the murder of Barry's mom so that Barry's dad can go free
Biggest Mystery (For Those Who Don't Comic Book) - What's a Zoom?
Biggest Clue - unless that background crescendo of "this is important" music is wrong, mystery guy must be introducing the spin-off…already
Most Interesting Promotion - Cisco is now working for the police department. Those 2 things just don't seem to go together.
Most Incongruous - sullen kid Barry feels like a retcon given what we've heard about him in season 1
Most Heartbreaking - Everyone blames themselves for Ronnie's death. I blame the writers and producers. Bring back Ronnie.
Most Confusing - I DO NOT get it. What the heck was that? Why in the world can't Barry be Henry's son and the Flash? I mean he's been both for awhile now. This is one very lame reason to get Henry off screen and I deserve some Barry-Henry time as much as Barry does. With all that we know about Henry, this makes not one iota of sense unless there is some underlying other stuff going on. Barry can have 2 dads. He should have 2 dads. I don't understand this twist one iota.
Worst New Game - Bowling for Cops, using police cars as the bowling ball
The "AGAIN, There's NO Cone of Silence" Award - nothing like spilling Barry's secret identity in a room full of cops, Cisco
The "Say What?" Award - 6 months later and now all of Central City is talking metahumans? I feel like I've missed some big steps in the local psyche.
The "Not Them Again" Award - I am sure that Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell are decent actors but Captain Cold and Heat Wave are such Arrow-level cartoon villains that I can't help but eye roll in anticipation of all the cheesy dialogue headed my way.

Best Quotes -
1. Cisco: "You expecting trouble?" Joe: "Cops always expect trouble. In this city, I expect super evil flying monsters." Cisco: "That's a solid expectation."
2. Caitlin: "You carry a handkerchief now. What are you? 80?"
3. Joe: "You can be sad, Barry. Your parents will understand if you're not strong all the time. That is why I'm here. It's okay, son. I've got you."
4. Cisco: "According to the coroner's office, Al Rothstein's body was in the morgue all night so we can scratch off zombie attack."
5. Cisco: "Professor Stein, you are a genius." Stein: "I believe that's already been well-established."
6. Barry: "Alright guys, I don't want any of you here right now." Joe: "Tough. You need your partners. You need your friends." Iris: "Barry, everyone in this room cares about you, but we also care about this city. We all want to make a difference and that means fighting metahumans and that means working with the Flash. You can't deny us that. Not anymore."

Fresh Off the Boat - 2.03 - Shaquille O'Neal Motors

If I were judging this against other comedies, it would be pretty decent but I judge it against other episodes of Fresh Off the Boat and this one just wasn't very funny. I think the manager roulette thing was supposed to make me laugh but it didn't. Instead that whole section coasted on the Shaq guest appearance and some sweet moments between Jessica and Louis. Thank goodness for these because they brought most of the heart to the show. Eddie realizing how much Evan's Beanie Babies meant to him was another golden heart moment. So thumbs up on the heart but let's not forget to bring the laughs along with it next time.

Grade: B- (average of bigtime heart and few laughs)

Best Reason to Watch - the heart
Best Scene / Biggest Awww Moment - Eddie gets Evan's Beanie Babies back
Best Visual - tiny Jessica shaking Shaq's hand
Best Maneuvering - Luis gets Jessica to haggle car prices again
Best Use of Being Bilingual - Jessica and Louis fake fight to get higher up the managerial rung
Worst Nostalgia - the Beanie Baby craze
Least Surprising - the head manager is Shaquille O'Neal
Most Missed - Honey
Most Sympathetic - I can't imagine trying to buy for Jessica so I feel for Louis
Most Over Dramatic - Jessica, if the biggest mistake of your life was not getting the free floorboards, then you very, very lucky. Hang on to that.
Biggest Jerk - Eddie sells Evan's beanie babies

Best Quotes -
1. Eddie: "Why is Shaq selling a car he can't even fit into?"
2. Louis: "Nice. Basketball-shaped tequila." Shaq: "It seemed like a good idea at the time."
3. Eddie: "Dad, he's not going to be there. It's a licensing deal. They pay the Diesel a bunch of money to slap his name on something. Shaq Fu."

The Goldbergs - 3.03 - Jimmy 5 is Alive

I am getting increasingly frustrated with the ABC comedy suggestion that kids are always right and parents need to give into them. Here again we have Adam getting his way because he sulked about something. That's terrible parenting and the idea that susceptible parents are watching this and getting ideas terrifies my teacher heart. Just stop. I love this show but always giving kids what they want is not helping anyone and it makes for lousy TV. The fact that the only Goldberg child I could stand in this episode is Erica shows just how off the rails things have gotten. What happened to logical consequences and smart parents? That being said, the final Beverly and Barry scene was so sweet that it raised the final grade an entire grade level for me. That's the heart I want out of The Goldbergs. Now if they could balance it better.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Beverly and Barry trying to cheer each other up
Best Scene / Biggest Awww Moment - Barry tells Beverly that he's always going to need her
Best Character Interaction - Erica and Adam
Best Save - Barry lets Beverly hug him to avoid her finding out that he taped over his 5th birthday party
Best Nickname - Mellor calls Adam "Muppet Boy"
Best Return - Barry's funky run
Best Cheerleader Mom Ever - Beverly
Worst Parenting - Why the heck is Murray suddenly giving in to his kids ALL the time? It started last season and now it is getting super annoying. Good parenting does NOT mean buying your kids the stuff they want because they sulk about it. Urgh!
Biggest Brat - tie - Barry and Adam are both obnoxious and annoying
Biggest Filler - the montages
Biggest What The Heck - Wine coolers are a hobby? Since when?
Most Anachronistic - Did anyone in the 80's use the word "bro"? I don't remember that.
Most Pun-ilicious - Barry
Most Cringeworthy - Murray calls the robot "robit"
The "I Feel for You" Award - Pops is stuck in the middle of Adam and Murray
The "Say What?" Award - Mellor, I don't think you know how VHS works
The "I Still Don't Get It" Award - the Weather Channel
Best Music - Forever Young by Rod Stewart

Best Quotes -
1. Barry: "So does this mean you forgive me for ruining your tapes?" Beverly: "Of course. Look I know it's crazy how much I love them but they just remind of a time when you still needed me." Barry: "Mom, look at all the stuff you do for me. Everything I am is because of you. I'll always need you."
2. Beverly: "This is all your fault Phil Donahue, gorgeous white-haired b**."
3. Adam: "Goodbye R-2 and 3PO. I guess you were not the droids I was looking for."
4. Erica: "Everyone else moves on to real hobbies like sports and boys and wine colors, and I was still sniffing the Straw."
5. Mellor: "Third graders out. You are of no use to me until you develop adult bodies that can play something besides tag."
6. Pops: "I liked it better when you hated everything."

Grandfathered - 1.02 - Dad Face

This show has great potential and I really liked the pilot, but it needs to stop insinuating that Jimmy must drop everything to cater to Gerard's wishes or else he is a bad person. On the flip side, Jimmy needs to stop being pressured into doing things and then making everyone uncomfortable by obviously not wanting to be there. Plus the pacing of this was way off. Loved the side plot with Sara and Vanessa though and Annelise still rocks.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Vanessa
Best Scene - Sara appreciates Vanessa after Vanessa tears into a drum circle for tossing a bottle near her baby
Biggest Buzzkill - possibility of the woman you're about to screw ending up being your daughter
Biggest Hmmm - Not sure about using your granddaughter as a pickup line. That seems rather shady.
Most Manipulative - Ravi talks Jimmy into attending family day in hopes of getting his White Party ticket
Worst Dichotomy / Filler - clips of the family vacation interspersed with the White Party
The "I Don't Get It" Award - Why is everyone always down on Jimmy when he can't drop everything and do what Gerald wants? Give him a few dates to choose from.

Best Quotes -
1. Gerard: "You know family is just an endless stream of exhausting cr** that makes you feel like the least cool person on earth but you do it because you love your kid and because sometimes you get these amazing moments, like watching her go into the ocean for the first time which I'm not going to miss just explaining this to you."
2. Sara: "Hey, I know you have a tremendous, soul-killing crush on her." Gerard: "Sure do." Sara: "Can I ask why? Aside from the fact that she's the mother of your child and that." Jimmy: "Look, it's like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, you know? You think you've got it all figured out. Then bang! You know it hits you with a crazy awesome surprise you never saw coming." Sara: "So Vanessa's been dead the entire time."
3. Gerald: "You guys ready? Jimmy said he'll be here any minute." Sara: "Just so you know based on when I was dating him, that could mean anything from he'll be here soon to we'll never see him again."
4. Jimmy: "You know what? I wrote down this really smart observation. Hold on one second. It's like…um, it's like those people are the ones in cages." Annelise: "You were driving and you stopped to write that down?" Jimmy: "Yeah." Annelise: "Hmm."
5. Gerard: "Wow, you really do have skinny legs. I'm glad I got mom's. Her's are more…" Sara: "There's no good way to finish that."

iZombie - 2.01 - Grumpy Old Liv

Maybe it was my high expectations for the return of one of my favorite new shows, but this could be the worst episode of iZombie yet. It committed a cardinal TV sin. It bored me. The case was uninspiring and watching Liv be a douche to everyone was not as much funny as it was painful. I also hate the further deconstruction of Major's character and the fact that Peyton is MIA. Let's hope that is temporary. Starting Liv in such a low place dragged down the mood almost as much as her temporary brain-eating personality. All in all, it was missing the fun and quirkiness of season 1 although it started off brilliantly. I loved the beginning banter between Ravi and Liv. Sadly, it quickly devolved into a slow moving mess where I didn't care who the killer was because they were almost guaranteed to be better than the victim. Here's hoping this episode is just a fluke.

Grade: C

Wish List:
1. Keep adding the fun and snark
2. Give Liv some more unique brains to munch on
3. Fix the rift between Liv and Peyton
4. Keep giving us great moments between Ravi and Liv
5. At the end of the season, have Clive learn about zombies and kill off Blaine

Best Reason to Watch - the season can only go up from here
Best Scene - Ravi and Liv in the morgue
Best Character Interaction - Ravi and Liv
Biggest Ouch - Liv's brother wakes up in the hospital and tells her to go away
Biggest What the Heck - Major is now being blackmailed to kill people
Least Surprising - Gilda is Liv's new roommate
Most Handy - internal zombie detector that makes your hair stand up on end when they're near
The "That's Not Ironic; It's Lame" Award - hipster t-shirts
The "Not You Again" Award - Vaughn, who should be in prison and off my screen by now
The "Missed You" Award - Peyton

Best Quotes -
1. Ravi: "Her new is New Hope, not Final Hope. You know this. If I wanted to give her a depressing name, I would have gone with Phantom Menace."
2. Gilda: "We've located the instrument of their destruction." Vaughn: "Is that my cue to start cackling manically or shall I wait for you to provide the details?"
3. Liv: "Great. I'm grossing out a rat."
4. Blaine: "Somewhere out there, Major Lilywhite - the most presciently named zombie of all time - roams the earth." Liv: "Whitey Shamblemore begs to differ."
5. Clive: "Haven't you heard? That stuff will rot your brain." Liv: "I think we're too late."

Life in Pieces - 1.03 - Sleepy Email Brunch

This is my favorite episode of Life in Pieces so far, largely because I liked all of the segments for the first time. The second was really rough at first but by the time they got to the end where Tim helps out Heather, it was golden too. The best segment was the family dinner where everyone meets Colleen, largely because of the nonverbal acting. Everyone's surprise at Joan's taking Colleen's hands was confusing and then sweet. The polite battle between Joan and Jen felt spot on. I loved how Greg is caught in the middle and his face when he loses his bacon is shattered. Plus this episode may be the very first time that any fictional character on TV rooted for the St. Louis Rams. Props to the home team even if they suck. While this comedy is not appointment TV, I see enough potential to keep it on the to-watch list as I have time.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - it's the first time I liked all four segments
Best Scene - Colleen meets the family
Worst Babysitter - Calliope
Most in Need of the Cutting Room Floor - Tim's bowel issues that were not funny at all
Most Repulsive - the Quick Mart's shriveled up hot dogs with flies buzzing around them
Most Intense - Joan when the Rams lose…so all the time
Most Inappropriate - Tim's swinger jokes
Least Likely to Get a Job as a Landscaper - any of the second generation with their remote-controlled espresso machines
Best Shout Out - St. Louis Rams
The "There are No Winners" Award - if it's a war between your wife and your mother, you are just screwed
The "It's Always a Bad Sign…" Award - when you think of jail as a night off
Best Music - Holding Out for a Hero

Best Quotes -
1. Jen: "I cannot believe you are getting a night away." Greg: "I'm going to jail. This is not a night away."
2. Matt: "Don't ever get in the middle of an argument between Jen and mom that starts with 'I hear you.' The subtext is always 'I'm the one who loves Greg more.' "
3. John: "I haven't been this disappointed since you wanted that magician doll last Christmas." Greg: "It's a Darth Vader action figure." John: "It had a cape and a magic wand." Greg: "It's a light saber, Dad."
4. John: "This used to be a do it yourself country. Generation App, that's what you boys are. Hey you want to see an app? Here's an app. You use it when you can't find your nuts."
5. Greg: "I've got to admit. That was fun. I've never chopped down a tree before." Jen: "You still haven't. Tree guy's coming on Tuesday and your chiropractor appointment is for Wednesday."

Limitless - 1.03 - The Legend of Marcos

That was the best episode of Limitless so far and it is all because of the improvement in Brian. The case of the week was paper thin but that was actually a good thing because it allowed more time for Brian to grow up. And he desperately needed to grow up. I found this more humble, caring, and approachable Brian to be far superior to the man-child he has been so far so hopefully they keep this transition moving forward. I also loved the introduction to Colin Salmon's character. I adore Salmon every time I see him so I'm excited that he's finally shown up on Limitless. His character is appropriately menacing and it makes Morra seem even shadier than before. I have no idea if he's a good guy or bad guy now but he does have reach. If they don't drag out Brian's secret from Harris for too long, this is a great new layer. Basically I am more excited about Limitless than I have been so it gets 2 more episodes before I decide whether to marathon it or not.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Brian is sympathetic, caring, and NOT a selfish douche throughout the entire episode
Best Scene - Harris pep talks Brian in his apartment
Best Character - Harris for her wisdom
Best Character Interaction - Harris and Brian
Best Nostalgia - Miami Vice
Most Fun with Post-It Notes - Brian's post-it note crime scene mockups
Most Threatening - Mr. Sans
Most Likely to Tell You Like It Is - Agent "Mike" who pretty much tells Brian to stick it
Most Improved - Brian
Worst Jigsaw Puzzle - putting together someone's shredded documents
Weirdest Filler - the faux drug legend movie
Best Filler - the date
Least in Love with Their Job - Mike and Ike, who bodyguard Brian at his brattiest
Least Surprising - the task force is corrupt
Best Meta / The "Welcome Back" Award - Analeigh Tipton, who played Jake (Brian) McDorman's love interest on Manhattan Love Story
The "Welcome Back" Award - Colin Salmon, who was one of the best things about Arrow

Best Quotes -
1. Brian: "So I'm wondering does she likes me or does she like me on the drug?" Harris: "They're the same guy." Brian: "Absolutely not. Not true. NZT Brian can do way more stuff than regular Brian. What?" Harris: "There aren't two Brian's. There's you. Sure you can do more when you're on the pill but either way it's your character."
2. Brian: "Honestly, I'm nervous about this whole thing. I am, okay? And I just…you know what I want to say? What I should say is thank you." Shauna: "For what?" Brian: "For being a good person. I mean you stuck with me for a long time and I know it was hard. I was really down."
3. Harris: "If she's interested in you because of what you can do instead of who you are, then she isn't worth your time. And if she isn't, then you're worried about nothing."
4. Brian: "Sergeant Moore, keep it real…or don't. Keep it however you want to keep it."
5. Harris: "We're at the relationship advice stage?" Brain: "Well we kind of have to be. The only people that know the details of my life work at the FBI. You are by far the most normal person at the FBI so you're really the only person in the world I can talk to about this stuff."

Scorpion - 2.03 - Fish Filet

After last week's disappointing episode, it is good to have Scorpion back in all its glory. They just cannot go wrong when they devote the episode to Sylvester and this one was even better than the cruise ship episode from last year. In many ways, this is Sylvester's crowning moment in character development. Although he has been placed in increasingly intense situations throughout the series, this time he is largely on his own, unable to communicate with his team. Plus he has to confront a plethora of fears because let's face it. Prison would scare anyone. While largely focusing on Sylvester, both Cabe and Toby had shining moments as well. I loved Cabe's speech more than anything else in this season so far. He stood up for his family to his boss and laid down the home truths that Molina needed to hear. How are they supposed to trust her in the future if she leaves one of the team to rot in jail and die? That's some shoddy leadership there. I also loved Cabe teaching Toby to punch. It was such a father-son moment and right when Toby needed it. The only drawbacks to this episode was the Ralph interlude, who is still more irksome than cute.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - it's all about Sylvester
Best Scene / Best Speech - Cabe tells off Molina for being willing to let Sylvester die as long as they completed the mission
Best Character / Best Problem Solver - Sylvester
Best Use of a Fire Hose - Happy, who saves them all from the shady guard
Best Dad Moment - Cabe teaches Toby how to punch
Biggest Ouch - Toby's face after seeing Chet
Best New Addition - Ray, who could add humor as an occasional guest star
Biggest Laugh - Sylvester doing an egret bird mating ritual to show Megan he loves her
Most Kick Butt - Sylvester saves himself from Ten-Ton
Most Incredulous - the look Sylvester gives Ray
Worst Place to Stop - right in front of the cell of the guy who's trying to kill you
Worst Trash Talker - Sylvester, who manages to sound scared stiff while he does so
Worst Return - Ralph, who needs to be talked about but never seen
Worst Pun-ing - Ray
Worst Plan - In an episode with fake suicide overdoses and prison breaks, the worst plan is Ray's involving adult men in their skivvies lathering up with Crisco. I'll take an order of brain bleach immediately.
The "Say What?" Award - since when can prisoners just walk down the hallways whenever they want
The "That's a Sure Sign of Friendship…Or Being a Cult Leader" Award - Toby knows just what to say to talk Sylvester into a fake suicide
The "Too Much Shakespeare" Award - Toby's Romeo and Juliet drug plan
The "I'm Team Sylvester" Award - No one had any right to ask so much from Sylvester and then to basically keep him there beyond his will. I did like how it gave us so much Sylvester time though.
The "Famous Last Words" Award - "You'll be fine." That's never a good sign

Best Quotes -
1. Molina: "Your team did fine work." Cabe: "I wish I could say the same for you." Molina: "Excuse me." Cabe: "You were willing to sacrifice one of my team to make your case." Molina: "I was thinking about 3 members of the federal judiciary." Cabe: "You were thinking about what would look worse for you - three dead judges or one dead kid. I'm a Marine. No man left behind means something to me." Molina: "My hope was to protect everyone involved." Cabe: "Don't try to politic your way out of this. I don't trust you anymore. I will never put my people's lives in your hands again and if that costs me my job, so be it. Some things are more important." Sylvester: "Thanks, Cabe." Cabe: "We're a team, right? Family."
2. Sylvester: "I was nearly drugged and choked to death today. All less scary than your driving."
3. Sylvester: "I have a limit of one death per day."
4. Toby: "Voila, a near perfect mimic of death. The pulse is active but undetectable with breathing more shallow than the cheerleaders of my high school."
5. Paige: "Are you holding up okay?" Sylvester: "I am in prison, Paige, about to be killed. Would you like to start with a new question?" Paige: "Sorry. Good news is we're getting you out of here. Bad news is it's through the morgue."
6. Paige: "Walter, maybe this is a mistake. No offense but I just don't want Sylvester's life in the hands of a guy who lives in a Gremlin."

Supernatural - 11.01 - Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire

I'm still leery about Supernatural after the debacle that was seasons 8 and 9, aka the Screw You Carver Years. So I always approach SPN with caution now. However season 10 fixed Sam, or at least stopped throwing him continually under the bus and what I've heard about this season is promising. I love the idea of the brothers together on a common mission, side by side. That's what first attracted me to Supernatural and their brother bond is the core upon which everything else is built. If they can continue to move forward together, this could be a great year. The season 11 premiere did its job of setting up the Big Bad and creating enough twists to move the pacing forward. While I don't like the idea that Sam is infected, it should give him great opportunity to be the Smart Sam of the first few seasons. More importantly, I am glad Sam addressed the key issue of how the brothers have somewhat fallen away from the primary objective. I love that they brought up the family motto again. This is the kind of arguing I can stand between the brothers because it is mission focused and they came to consensus instead of it being about tearing each other down. This is the maturity I am looking for in their characters. They do have to stop repeating old patterns like Sam said if the show is going to keep going, but they need to do it together and in a way that is true to the characters. For once, Jeremy Carver didn't screw things up. Well, not yet.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Reunited and it feels so good. I love when the brothers can argue WITHOUT being in a contrived brother rift
Best Scene - Sam reminds Dean that the family motto starts with "Saving people" and then "hunting things"
Best Addition - Jenna, I hope you come back and maybe intern under Sheriff Jody
Best References - Magic Mike and 28 Days Later
Best Call Back to a Previous Season - the whole set up reminds me of Croatoan, which I love
Best Reason to Look Before You Lock - Sam traps himself in with a creeper
Biggest Shock - baby Amara has the Mark of Cain and yet another child on SPN gets ultra creepy
Worst Shock - Sam is infected
Worst Plan (As Proven by 10 Previous Seasons) - Sam, keeping secrets has never worked for any Winchester ever. Tell your brother what's happening.
Worst Shots - the dead dog family can't shoot Cas even though he's 20 feet in front of them
Worst Sign - Older than Death? Yikes! That can't be good.
Worst False Hope - at first I thought Sam was protected by The Darkness too so I was happy when the creepers walked away
Worst Birth Day Gift - the mark of Cain
Most Catchy - the new opening title card
Most Disappointing - the opening song feels too tame musically for all that happened in season 10
The "Say What?" Award - Dean and the Darkness are bound. Hmm, what does that mean? Is this another killing one means killing the other thing? Is Dean under her spell? Can he physically not hurt the Darkness or is it less literal than that?
The "I'm with Sam" Award - it is time to get back to the family motto with its emphasis on saving people
The "I'm with Dean" Award - I'm all for you doing what you do, Sam. Right up until it means getting yourself killed. I draw the line there. You're too important to play bait.
The "Scene to Launch a Thousand Fan Fics" Award - Dean talking about Magic Mike
The "No Thanks" Award - Close-up of a dead, fly-ridden dog? Nope, just nope.
The "This Never Ends Well" Award - Dean, stop getting chatty with the Big Bad. It didn't work with Ruby. It won't work here.
The "Thank Goodness for Small Favors" Award - Crowley is still alive
The "Ooh Me, Pick Me" Award - Sam asks, "When did we forget how to do this?" That's easy. When Carver took over and forgot what the show is about.
The "Oh How I've Missed You" Award - Baby, you're looking fine. And I missed the Winchesters too.
The "It's Your Turn" Award - seems like a brother goes missing every season
The "Nope, I Still Don't Care" Award - nothing about angels interests me at all, making everything Cas completely fast forward-able to me
The "I Can't be the Only One" Award - when Dean starts talking about how the brothers were the lock and key, I immediately thought of The French Mistake

Best Quotes -
1. Sam: "Saving people means ALL of the people, Dean. Not just that baby. Not just each other. I unleashed a force on this world that could destroy it to save you." Dean: "I told you not to." Sam: "And I'd do it again in a second. I would do it again. And that is what I'm talking about. This isn't on you. It is on us. We have to change." Dean: "What are you thinking?"
2. Dean: "We were hoping you could tell us what kind of DEFCON Screwed we are."
3. Jenna: "Show me some skin." Dean: "Heh?" Sam: "What?" Jenna: "Both of you." Dean: "This like a Magic Mike moment?"
4. Sam: "When did we forget how to do this?" Dean: "What?" Sam: "Dean, if we don’t change right now, all of our cr** is just going to keep repeating itself." Dean: "Okay, I…I…I don't even…uh. What?" Sam: "This. This 'kill first, question later.' What happened to us? Hunting things, we're good at that. Sure, we're great at that but that's only half of the bumper sticker, man?"
5. Sam: "And she told you she was The Darkness?" Dean: "No, she was wearing a name tag. What do you think?"
6. Jenna: "This job is supposed to be saving people." Dean: Yeah well it sounds better on paper, doesn't it?"

Other Shows -

Blindspot - 1.03 - Eight Slim Grins
Grade: C
~Worst episode yet. I'm not a fan of when all the characters suddenly become stupid. I'm still iffy about the Taylor reveal too. Here's hoping it’s a hoax.

The Goldbergs - 3.02 - A Chorus Lie
Grade: B+
~I love both Beverly and Murray in this episode. Even Barry's dorky friend grew on me.

The Grinder - 1.02 - A Hero has Fallen
Grade: C
~Dean is still a complete schmuck, the logic is still way off base, Deb still rocked, and Lacoste is a great addition. In fact, Deb and Lacoste are the only hope I have that the 3rd episode will be better and thus make the show worthy of watching still.

Life in Pieces - 1.02 - Interruptus Date Breast Movin'
Grade: C+
~The first 2 segments were hilarious. The second two, not so much.

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