Monday, December 21, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of Dec. 13 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome back to Last Week in TV. As we officially head into hiatus, I'd like to take the time to wish everyone a very merry holiday season. I appreciate all those who read this column and those who keep the discussion going in the comment's section. A huge thanks as well to the guest reviewers. This is the first time I have tried something like that and they have made what was a nerve-wracking thought into a fantastic reality. Thanks guys! The next two weeks the column will look slightly different as I try to marathon the TV in my to-watch pile and as we dole out yearly TV awards. Because of that I will not be doing nominated episodes but they will begin again in January. Please nominate new or old shows in the short 2-question form below for when we return to the regular format. I am particularly looking for good shows that have already ended that I might have missed. Last year I was happily introduced to both Merlin and Dexter. I know there are others I should have watched when they came out so I'm looking for guidance. Until next week, have a great holiday and happy marathon / catch-up TV viewing!

Nominated Episode

Suits - 2.01 - She Knows

When I originally dropped Suits, I did so because all of the characters annoyed me except Donna. I found that I couldn't root for anyone and that's a big TV no-no for me. Harvey AND Mike equaled House and Jayne on my list of ultimate TV douche bags. Coming into the season 2 premiere, I was skeptical that things would be different. In one way, the characters really had not changed. Harvey and Mike still use whatever means necessary to get what they want no matter who they hurt. However, the circumstances surrounding their douche baggery have changed and that made all the difference. For Mike it was the clients. Since both were greedy people trying to take advantage of the situation, it didn't faze me as much when Mike screws them both on technicalities. In Harvey's case though, it was the glimmer of him caring more about someone else than himself. I found his willingness to lose his own job to protect Mike very interesting. He's no longer as selfish as I remember and it's a good look on him. Plus, I have a feeling this Daniel character is going to be much worse and may take Harvey down a few pegs before Harvey gets rid of him. Still the best thing about the show is the witty dialogue. If you're into snark, Harvey is a pro and the rest aren't slouches either. Donna in particular can give back whatever she gets and she's still the best character. I'm not sure I could marathon Suits without wanting Gibbs' smack the entire law firm but I could see it as an occasional watch, and that's much better than my opinion of it previously.

Grade: B-
Ranking - 2+
Audience - anyone who likes legal shows where they often break the law to win and those who love snark

Best Reason to Watch - the politics and psychological warfare are surprisingly interesting
Best Scene - Harvey vs. Daniel
Best Character Interaction - Harvey and Jessica
Best Character - Donna
Best Dichotomy - the difference between Mike's coming into the office after the restaurant and then after learning that Jessica knows
Best Played - Mike finds other novels similar to the one Myra pitched to force her to back down
Best Unintentional Save - Edith, who gets Mike going in a different direction on the case
Best / Biggest Change - Harvey really seems to care about Mike instead of just himself
Biggest Gamble - Harvey puts his job on the line for Mike, although I'm not sure why
Smartest Cookie - Jessica, who strings both Mike and Harvey along only to lower the boom
Least Grateful - Mike, who brats out to Harvey without knowing what Harvey's been doing for him
Least surprising - Daniel doesn't knuckle to Harvey's threats but uses them against him
Most Tedious Subplot - whatever that relationship drama was by the taxi
Most Contemptible - using the dead wife card to make people think you've changed
Most on Point Music - Smoke and Mirrors by Goyte
Most Easily Manipulated - Louis
The "I Don't Feel for Either of You" Award - I really don't care about Mike's friend busting him. It sounds like they were both class A douches.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Rebecca Schull from Wings

Episode of the Week

The Librarians - 2.08 - And the Point of Salvation

Groundhog Day was a great movie but on TV the time loop concept can be hit or miss. For the most part, it was a hit for The Librarians…but only because it starred Ezekiel. I can't see it being near as entertaining with another character because Ezekiel is the character that needed the most character growth. By allowing the audience to watch him try and fail over and over again, it gave a clearer glimpse of the character than ever before. Watching him break down and then begging for the team to trust in him was powerful and two of the best scenes the show has ever done. We, the audience, were allowed past the façade and the Ezekiel awaiting us was deep, brave, caring, and smart. It helped to clarify who Ezekiel could be and showed that he is capable of maturing into a good leader. In short, it was exactly the Ezekiel-centric episode the show needed because he was in danger of being the only cardstock character left. For sheer character development, this is my favorite episode of season 2 and winner of the Episode of the Week. Like all time loop plots, it did slow down a touch in the middle when we had already seen certain scenes about as many times as Ezekiel lived them. It soon got back on track though and did a great job of mixing humor and pathos. Over all it was a fun, heartfelt episode and I wish The Librarians did this combo more often. Too bad though that Ezekiel seems to be returning to his old ways. Amnesia is way too convenient and unworthy of the quality of this episode.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - Ezekiel gets character growth
Best Scene / Biggest Awww Moment - Ezekiel tries to get them to believe him and he's awesome at it
Best Pep Talk - Baird to Ezekiel
Best Revenge - Ezekiel lets Jake get electrocuted
Best Reaction - Ezekiel shoots Jake and Jake's excited about being in a video game
Best Reference - the great TV shows that have done time loop episodes although it missed Mystery Spot from Supernatural, which is the greatest time loop episode of all time
Biggest Shock - Ezekiel saves the team by putting himself in danger
Biggest Eye Roll - Cassandra figures out the lock instead of Ezekiel
Biggest Say What? - Jenkins, an immortal, can die
Most Likely to Bring the Knowledge - Ezekiel this time
Most Fun Word - tenchomagic mojo
Most Nonchalant - the DARPA people are not at all surprised to find librarians roaming their building
Most Bizarre - Ezekiel: "It's not a time loop. It's a video game."
Smartest Plan - Ezekiel takes the librarian/guardian he needs only for the part he needs them in
The "This is Always a Bad Plan. Don't You Watch Movies?" Award - anytime the computer gets that much smarter than its creator, humanity gets screwed

Guest Reviews

Mom - 3.06 - Horny-Goggles and a Catered Intervention

It’s the midseason finale of Mom, and the woman at AA are feeling a bit o’ the ol’ Christmas loneliness. Now that she’s quit boozin’, Wendy is thirsty for some RSVPs to her Sober Dance, but it seems the other women really aren’t feeling it. Regina announces she’s not an alcoholic and Bonnie quickly jumps on the bandwagon, anything to get out of Wendy’s soul-killing sober dance. After discussing it, the women respect Regina’s decision not to label herself an alcoholic and to go back to drinking in moderation. After she takes her first sip of wine, Wendy leaps across the table to kiss Regina to taste the alcohol on her lips. Later on, despite Regina’s confidence in her sobriety, everyone throws her a lavish catered intervention at Jill’s house anyway. Feeling betrayed by their lack of faith, Regina explains that her life is better than ever and storms out. Candace, Baxter and Roscoe show up at Bonnie and Christy’s house wearing creepy identical Christmas sweaters and shower Christy and Bonnie with lavish gifts. This turns out to be incredibly awkward because neither Christy nor Bonnie got them anything. Christy frantically grabs the Arby’s coupon someone left in the tip pouch Bonnie left for her tenants. This makes Baxter over-the-moon-happy, so mission accomplished, Christy. Faced with no other option other than petty passive-aggressiveness, Bonnie gives Candace the only other “present” that was left in her tip envelope: a festive snapshot of someone’s male anatomy in a Santa hat. Candace’s priceless face is more than worth the awkwardness that came beforehand. While Bonnie subtly gets back at Candace, Christy asks Baxter if he thinks she can start drinking in moderation. He gives her a resounding no, which turns out to be good advice when Regina later teeters on the edge of the wagon, likely to completely fall off sooner rather than later. The episode closes with the women dancing at Wendy’s oh-so-hip Sober Dance.

Grade- A
Best Reason to Watch- The show’s ability to explore dark themes without being heavy-handed or preachy.
Best Scene- Wendy successfully drags everyone to her terrible sober dance.
Best Regifted Present- Jill’s expensive earrings that the women “bought for Regina.”
Worst Regifted Present- Candace’s second-hand d#@& pic.
Worst Sober Dancer- Bonnie, hands down. Her orangutan-cowboy-tango belongs in a comedic hall of fame.

Best Quotes -
1. Christy: "Don’t ruin cake. It’s all I have left."
2. Regina: "If I got paid by the amen, I’d be a rich woman."
3. Bonnie: "She’s on the bullet train to Booze-adelphia."
4. Bonnie: "First you think you have it under control, then you’re making out with a homeless man in his dumpster, then you’re back eating stale donuts at the meeting. Circle of life."
5. Christy: "It’s only a matter of time before a couple of drinks turns into a line of blow, and boom, you’re showing up to your kid’s PTA meeting in @ssless chaps and a sombrero… Or your version of that."

New Shows

Childhood's End - Night One: The Overlords / Night Two: The Deceivers / Night Three: The Children

While I am appreciative that Syfy is getting back to its roots and like The Expanse, obviously not afraid to spend a little money on it, this is a case of the longer a show ran the worse it got until the ending was a big jumble of "whatever". I enjoyed The Overlords segment and how it set up the alien invasion. I thought Ricky was hopelessly naïve but most of the characters interested me. The Deceivers worked too but suffered from some pacing problems. It was in the third segment, The Children, that the entire story fell apart logically to me. In essence, these "benevolent" demons were either patsies or evil. They purposely create the destruction of earth and yet we're supposed to think of them as the good guys? I don't think so. It's one thing if they knew ahead of time that some huge catastrophe was coming and they genetically altered the kids in order to save the population. It's a completely different story when they heard voices telling them to destroy the earth for no apparent reason. Earth wasn't doing anything to them and the whole "collective consciousness" simply means they have no idea who's giving the order. I'm guessing Satan. They also spent far too long grooming the earth just to have Jennifer take it apart fiber by fiber. Nothing about the original story tied together for me. Plus I already saw this story. The Outer Limits episode called Music of the Spheres, starring Joshua Jackson and Kirsten Dunst, did this plot much better. In fact, it might be my favorite Outer Limits episode of all.

Grade Overall: C

Best Reason to Watch - the characters
Best Gift - the overlords give Milo both his life and the use of his legs back
Best Character - Milo
Biggest Reason to be Skeptical - nothing like an alien species telling you exactly what you want to hear to insure that they plan to dominate over you and possibly eat you
Biggest Awww Moment - Ricky tells Ellie that he loved her best (after taking a lifetime to figure it out)
Worst Plan? - bringing the new world order kid into the old world city seems risky to all
Biggest Hmm - so people do still own cars but they just don't use them regularly
Biggest Sign Something's Changed - the lookie loo's in the original had cameras and cars but now they have carts and bicycles
Biggest Question - So in New Amsterdam do they have jobs and use money to buy things?
Biggest "Nope, No, Uhn-Uhn" - You do not impersonate people's dead love ones, alien people. That's a violation and a terrible way to begin.
Least Appropriate Reaction - Karellen tells people there is no need for scientific inquiry because the world is as it needs to be for their successors and no one questions who those successors are or what he means
Least Surprising - Karellen is a demon
Most Brave- Ellie, who pounds on the alien craft to get her fiancé back
Most Overused - slow-motion / evil kids
Most Overly Dramatic - Ricky and his special room
Most Depressing - if the only thing humans have to offer is cookie dough ice cream, we might be better off extinct
Most Disgusting - Rachel explodes into pieces
Most Annoying - showing or telling things to characters that the audience is not privy to
Most Spooky - all the world's kids start chanting for Jennifer
Strangest Reaction - Ricky doesn't take the giant alien eye tearing his house apart piece by piece as a hostile gesture or even as a threat
Scariest Speech - Karellen tells them that humanity is going to become extinct
Most Dedicated / Dumbest Smart Guy - Milo, whose pursuit of knowledge keeps him from seeing people
Best Shout Out - takes place in Hapstead, MO
The "Well That's NOT an Improvement" Award - alien "Band-aids" look very painful / Vindarten is as creepy as the demons so I'm not sure I'd trust him with my family either
The "Say What?" Award - How did Ricky get kidnapped when surrounded by a whole bunch of lookie loos? The paparazzi is getting weak under this new regime.
The "Never Looking at that the Same Way Again" Award - vacuum sealing doesn't sound like a good way to create space anymore
The "Some Things Never Change" Award - Rams still lose in a Utopian society
The "Wait Just One Minute" Award - I thought the aliens grounded everything man-made from the sky. How exactly did Paul fly to Missouri then?
The "Welcome Back" Award - Mike Vogel from Under the Dome / Georgina Haig from Fringe / Daisy Betts from The Player
Best Music - I Think It's Going to Rain Today, which brings back Beaches memories

The Expanse - 1.01 - Dulcinea

The Expanse is the newest adaptation from the SyFY Channel, which appears to be going back to its roots. So far, it's a good move. Childhood's End is engaging, but this series has the real potential. Still it's a rough pilot. In an effort to build their world (which they do an excellent job on by the way), they leave a mass of undistinguishable characters in its wake. It's simply too big for the pilot and they knew it or why else release 4 episodes basically at the same time. The premise is the same as many sci-fi shows. A group of people are oppressed into basic servitude to allow the rich to get richer. In this case, the belters (people who work the asteroid belt for water in the form of ice) are enslaved to the military dusters from Mars and the rich people of Earth, headed by the UN. There's rumbling about revolution (story A) and based on the inequality, no one can blame them. Earth keeps them on water rations and corporate greed says it's better to pay the widows than fix the broken down equipment and damaged air filters. In essence, it's every dystopia ever written. In many ways, the B story reminds me of Gotham. There's the crooked cop entrenched in a crooked system who is partners with the idealistic new guy. It's rough and uninspiring. The C story is what works best. It follows Holden, the Han Solo of the series, who works on an ice trawler in space. Hearing a distress signal, a small group follows only to be lead into a trap. It's this segment that provides the big payoff of the pilot in the guise of a massive cliffhanger, one I didn't see coming although I probably should have. Time will tell if The Expanse can pull off such a huge cast and multi-storylines running at the same time. One thing is for sure though. SyFy or somebody put a lot of cash into this production because the cinematography is gorgeous and the effects are impressive for a basic cable show. Let's just say this is NO Sharknado.

Grade: C+
Ranking - 4
Audience - anyone into space operas and loves a big, complicated cast / people who like Gotham but don't have to have the superheroes and supervillains

Best Reason to Watch - excellent world building
Best Scene - the cliffhanger ending
MVP - the effects
Biggest Huh? - How's a match head supposed to improve the coffee?
Most Random Blech - a guy's hand gets sheared off in an ice trawler accident and then it floats off into space
Most Apt - Mars is the military planet
Most Depressing - part of the cops' job is to commit the jobs
Most in Need of a Padded Cell - the XO, who has made talking to his plants into a full blown psychosis
The "Say What?" Award - Um, I don't think they want the cargo. Not if they blow it up like that.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Julian Richings, the most superb Death on Supernatural / Paulo Costanzo from Royal Pains / Shohreh Aghdashloo from Grimm / Jay Hernandez from Gang Related / Lola Glaudini from Criminal Minds / Athena Karkanis from The Lottery and Supernatural / Brian George from TBBT and OUaT Wonderland / Jonathan Banks from Community

Weekly Shows

Agent X - 1.07 - Long Walk Home

I am saddened to hear that TNT will not be renewing this show. Of course, I never saw advertisements for it and TNT is in purge mood so I'm not too surprised either. I'm just glad I stumbled upon it. Outside of Into the Badlands, this has some of the best action on TV these days. Plus I really like John's character. I'm a little more iffy on this week's conspiracy though. The VP wanted to kill his crazy employee and it involved the CIA director, how exactly? I'm not sure if this is the end of the conspiracy plot but if it is, it's lame. Really lame. Even Burn Notice's resident psycho revenge stalker had more back story. Here's hoping the next 3 episodes are action-packed and don't end on a cliffhanger.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - even the conspiracy has conspiracies
Best Scene - John tells off both Millar and PotUS
Best Action - VP residence fight
Best Soccer Player - John getting the bulb to help unlock his handcuffs
Best Science Trick / Best Pick-Up - the match in the bottle blows the toothpick and straw upwards
Best Use of a Computer Virus - to save the president
Biggest Twist - Millar is the one who bombed Ray's boat
Least Surprising - Ray was a psycho who was going way too far
Most Surprising - they shot the president anyway
Most Interesting - nowadays we don't see John getting his butt kicked very often so the flashbacks are new
Weirdest Use of Slow-Mo - during the fight they suddenly slow to watch John get punched, a lot
The "Next Time Don't Skimp on the Help" Award - Volker may be the ultimate in kick butt crazy but he sure hired some stupid goons. No wonder John got away relatively easily.

Ash vs. Evil Dead - 1.07 / 1.08 - Fire in the Hole / Ashes to Ashes

I didn't think it was possible but episode 1.07 had more nudity and disgusting stuff than the others. It also wasn't the best episode. I can only take stupid militia hicks for so long before I need to move on. 20 minutes was too long. 1.08 was genuinely creepy though. Nothing like spending the night in an evil cabin being haunted by loved ones to set the mood. Adding the death of a main character does too. I never saw that one coming, although in hindsight the fact that Amanda was at all interested in Ash was a huge blinking neon light.

Grade: C / B

Best Reason to Watch - they finally got to the cabin so we should be heading for the main event
Best Scene / Best Action - Ash vs. Ash
Best Acting - Kelly, who pretends to be a horror movie moron and de-arms the militia guy. Too bad it didn't work in the end. Amanda does the same later to better results.
Best Old West Screen Shot - Ash's trio blows the head of a zombie off while the militia looks on
Best Imitation of a Dragon - Lem
Biggest Shrew - Ash's dead ex with the screechy, annoying voice
Biggest Shock (of the week?) - Amanda really does die
Biggest Mistake - putting your gun down to read necromancy books
Biggest Hmm - Why is the militia locking their enemies in with their weapons? That seems unusually stupid even for a militia on TV.
Biggest Ewww - intestines on the ground, not my favorite way to start an episode
Biggest "Say What?" Award - Why aren't Kelly and Pablo running up to see what's going on? You'd think they'd be wary of any noise and at least check it out.
Least Surprising - Ruby is still alive
Most Paranoid / Least Intelligent - the anti-government militia people
Most Confusing - Ash trying to explain how the other him killed Amanda
Most Likely to be Employed as a Magician - Ash, who disappears mid conversation
Worst Plan - taking horror movie college kid tropes near the evil cabin
Worst Surprise - possessed animals
The "Who Knew?" Award - Ash really can be humble
The "Welcome Back" Award - Indiana Evans from Secrets and Lies

TBBT - 9.11 - The Opening Night Excitation

The most admirable thing about the last 1.5 seasons of TBBT is the awesome character growth that Sheldon is getting. It was the biggest problem but they have now gone so far as to make Sheldon okay with having sex. It was awkward but that was true to the characters. Mostly it was sweet all the way around with Sheldon thinking of Amy before himself. Personally I don't see anything wrong with Sheldon going to see the movie and hanging out with Amy earlier, but they were making a point here and it worked. In other news, I find it funny that there is such a big rivalry between Star Wars and Star Trek. I know plenty of people who like them both so the whole crowd booing Wil made me shrug and laugh. I do like that they played up the hype of a movie or TV show premiering though. It's hard for people outside "fandom" to get the hype and everything Wil said was true. Fandom doesn't make or break you but it can sure feel like it sometimes.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - whether you’re a fan of Star Wars, making fun of sci fi fans, or awkward sex, there's something here for everyone
Best Scene - This is a cheat but for me it was the vanity card at the end that takes you to and the Ashton Kutcher as Chuck Lorre snarkfest about sitcom writing and ratings (minus the penis humor). Check it out yourself.
Best Laugh - Penny and Bernadette keep messing with Sheldon as he's knocking on the door
Worst Foreplay - Amy's "give it to me" conversation
Sweetest Character - surprisingly Sheldon
Biggest Product Placement - Star Wars and it worked very well for them
Biggest Character Growth - Sheldon
Biggest Reaction - Amy to hearing that Sheldon wants to have sex
Biggest Surprise - Sheldon doesn't back out of sex and really has coitus with Amy
Most Awkward - Amy and Sheldon's big night
Most Guts - Wil Wheaton goes to a Star Wars movie in a Star Trek uniform, igniting a fanboy war
Most Realistic - Sheldon whining about not getting tickets until the end of time does seem on par with an intergalactic war
The "I'm with You" Award - Arthur has the right idea. I'd rather die like a samurai than talk sex with Sheldon.
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Arthur and Wil Wheaton

Elementary - 4.06 - The Cost of Doing Business
Once again, the most powerful part of the episode is Sherlock's relationship with his father. I like how Sherlock is now a tiny bit skeptical about his own opinions about him and yet John Noble is selling both parts of Morland's personality. He can be benevolent but watch out when he doesn't like the way things are going. The scene where he shuts down his informant's attempt to blackmail him was downright chilling. He's the kind of smart, cold killer that always makes for a good nemesis. The question for me is where is this all leading. I can see a major confrontation between father and son but I can't see Sherlock getting his father thrown in jail no matter how smart he is. Whichever way they go, it's been fascinating to watch the relationship unfold and I hope to keep seeing more of them working together.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - father and son working together
Best Scene - Sherlock suggests Watson make her own mind up about his father
Best Expeditor - Morland, who bribes and threatens with impunity to get what he wants
Best Twist - even Sherlock is starting to doubt his perception about his father, who is obviously up to no good
Worst Twist - the whole thing ends up being about a jilted lover
Most Cold - Morland, who obviously had someone killed and found by his children
Most Missed - Sherlock's brother, who would be fascinating playing mediator between Morland and Sherlock
Most Interesting Writing Choice - this episode keeps Sherlock and Watson apart for much of the preliminary investigation, which I'm still not sure if I like or not
The "Welcome Back" Award - Reed Diamond from State of Affairs, Wayward Pines, and Minority Report / John Shea, currently playing the shot president in Agent X

Into the Badlands - 1.05 - Snake Creeps Down

I will never, ever get used to the idea of a show's season being only 6 episodes long but here we are in the penultimate episode of Into the Badlands. So far it has been a wild ride of action, drama, and mythos. This episode is no different. I like that things are ready to go nuclear, especially since Quinn now knows MK's secret. I can't wait to see what Sunny does about that. Will he accelerate his plans to leave or does this crush them? Will Ryder try to kill his father? Did he already try to kill Jade? I have so many more questions. In this episode however, the best thing is still that the Widow and Tilda escaped. When those two die, it will be hard to replace them because they bring the best character dynamic and they are fascinating to watch. Kudos also for bringing Henriksen into the fold. He knows so much more than he's telling and he could be the linchpin that causes the whole storyline to explode. He obviously has no love for Quinn and a great thirst to stop MK so maybe he's the one who finally topples his son-in-law.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - things have picked up to lay the framework of an explosive finale
Best Scene - Veil confronts Quinn about killing her parents
Best Pick-Up Line - MK tells Tilda that she's his anchor….er, place of safety
Best Addition / Best Back Story - Penrith
Best Acting / Best Tyson Move - Tilda starts fake crying to take down Bale by biting off his ear
Best Action - Widow vs. Sunny. I could watch these two fight for 30 minutes per episode.
Biggest Set Up - Was Lydia setting up Jade by poisoning her, is Jade setting up Lydia by pretending Lydia poisoned her, or is someone else like maybe Ryder trying to take Jade out? My bets are on someone else but I'd love for this to be Jade's doing because then I could see her as a worthy adversary instead of someone who screws her way to the top.
Biggest Twist - MK gets weaker every time he's cut
Biggest Liar - Quinn, who even as he's dying messes with Veil's head
Smartest Plan for the Series - both the Widow and Tilda live to fight another day
Smartest Plan That's Going to Backfire - Quinn tells Sunny that he doesn't want Sunny to see Veil anymore
Most Screwed - Quinn now knows about MK's inner rage beast
Most in Need of a Muzzle - MK
Most Intriguing - Lydia's dad is a preacher who might know the real story of MK's pendant
The "Score One" Award - Jade, who convinces Quinn to follow her plan over Lydia's
The "Welcome Back" Award - Lance Henriksen from Millennium

Limitless - 1.11 - This is Your Brian on Drugs

Brian and Harris combined to tick me off almost every single time they were on screen. That's a power combination that is even worse than when Brian ticked me off by himself throughout the whole first 3 episodes. Neither of them made good choices, they were both complete douches, and they both feel superior to others in the end. Insufferable is the best adjective for both here. Since I hate when the main characters annoy me so much that I deplete my sock supply, because they ruined and killed off a great character, and because they made Boyle feel bad about doing his job and hinted that they were going to ruin HIS character too, this episode is the worst thing I watched this week. Boo all around to whomever planned this mess. Gibbs' slap to everyone.

Grade: D+

Best Reason to Watch - good throwing practice or to enhance your eye rolling skills through frequent practice
Best Reason to Skip - everything Harris and Brian, except for Brian's scene with Mike in the hospital
Best Scene - Brian's scene with Mike in the hospital
Best Back Story - Boyle
Worst Plan (show) - Making Casey the bad guy and then killing him off. This screams of fan pandering to put Brian and Harris together, which will be the end of this show for me.
Worst Plan (episode) - pick anything about Casey's band of Merry Men and you've got a contender
Biggest Misconception - Many people were on Twitter were saying that Casey lowered his gun before Boyle shot him. That's not the case. What Brian was saying is that instead of pulling the trigger himself, Casey chose to not shoot and pulled the gun slightly away as the bullet was heading towards him.
Biggest Eye Roll - all the romance drama
Biggest Coward / Biggest Douche - Harris, who breaks up via text like a complete jerk
Biggest Hero - Ike pushes Mike out of the way of the bullet and gets shot himself
Biggest Step Back - Brian is super obnoxious in the first 5 minutes, almost like he was in the first three episodes
Biggest Say What? - Why did Ike call Harris instead of FBI headquarters and every backup person with clearance they could find? What if she had been in the shower?
Strangest Subplot - Why are they sidelining Boyle with this ill grandma storyline? I realize they are building up the NZT story but it felt very off-place that an FBI agent would be taking vacation instead of heavily pursuing the person who shot a member of his own unit. Where's the loyalty?
Most Interesting - the Merry Men scale their big dreams into neighborhood scale
Most Obnoxious - Brian, who needs to be Gibbs' slapped by Mike AND Ike
Most Depressing - Casey's fake headstone, which says, "Here lieth Casey Rooks who nobody gave a damn about. Sept 7th, 1976 - any day now 2015"
Least Promising Subplot - Boyle now has an NZT pill
Least Likely to Accept Blame for His Own Actions - Nick
Weirdest Set-Up - they keep going back and forth in the timeline of events
The "Absolutely Yes" Award - To answer your question Brian, yes. You are very disrespectful and to almost everyone except maybe Harris and your dad.
The "Well At Least That's Cleared Up" Award - Ike's real name is Jason
The "I'm Team Boyle Here" Award - There was a clear and present danger to a high value asset and Boyle did what he was supposed to do. Plus I hate the fact that they seem to think that anytime Brian takes NZT he's automatically right about everything. Intelligence does not work that way and it makes Brian even more insufferable when everyone else around him treats him like he's the only one who can have answers.
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Stavros
The "Welcome Back" Award - Marc Blucas from Necessary Roughness, Killer Women, and Buffy
Best Music - Didn't I (Blow Your Mind)

Quantico - 1.11 - Inside

So am I supposed to believe that Caleb is the terrorist or is there something much bigger going on? I'm going to bet on the latter. Since when has obvious ever meant that's what is really going on in here? I do like that Elias was outed though. More I like that Elias should be gone now. I never did like that creepster. I also don't like the continued soap opera of people's love lives and petty jealousies. I can't imagine anyone rooting for any of these characters' hookups. They are the definition of dysfunctional. What did work though was the cliffhanger. Now people can speculate on if anyone died while debating terrorists. My bet is that no one of real importance bit it because this is not The 100 and I don't see them pulling a Game of Thrones wedding. In fact, I suspect that at least one "dead" person will actually be alive and probably the terrorist.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the cliffhanger
Best Reason to Fast Forward - romance breakups
Best Scene - Elias tosses himself out of the window
Best Pep Talk - Nimah about making monsters / Liam about Booth
Best Smack Down - Hannah to Alex
Best Play - Simon, who has nothing to lose, gets Elias to tell the truth by threatening his life
Best Cliffhanger - Command Center blows up
Worst Plan - telling Simon he can release the bomb without knowing for sure that he could
Worst TV Trend of the Week - women breaking up with men badly and men doing stupid, irreversible things in reaction
Biggest Baby Fit - Alex, who throws a tantrum at the Haas party because Booth is with someone else
Most Savvy - Natalie, who knows there's an app for that AND gives practical relationship advice
The "Good Riddance" Award - Elias offs himself and I am perfectly fine with that
The "Welcome Back" Award - Eliza Coupe from the sadly cancelled Benched / Marcia Cross from Desperate Housewives / Janaya Stephens from Flashpoint and the Left Behind series

Scorpion - 2.12 - Dam Breakthrough

Scorpion was fighting really hard odds here. Last Christmas was the kid trapped in the sinkhole episode, still the best one in my opinion. This one didn't beat it but, my oh my, was that ending a kick in the heart in a good way. The race to save the dam was thrilling and it hit all the right pacing. Common sense fled through the cracks but that's nothing new to Scorpion and Walter's muttering was more irritating than worrisome to me. So was Paige's constant fretting about the people below. Do something or shut up. Yapping at them when they're already stressed doesn't help. However allowing each character to shine (except Paige and maybe Toby) while putting 2 characters in mortal danger really worked. It didn't matter that I knew Happy was never hitting that turbine. I still held my breath while she was under. In fact the damn rescue ended far quicker than I expected and that initially made me groan. I thought for sure we were heading into deep romance emoangsting waters, and in some ways we did, so imagine my surprise when it instead turned into one of the best Walter moments of them all. Calling Sylvester his brother actually made me "awww" out loud. I also loved the idea of sending Megan's ashes into space. It was a sweet and yet still a very Walter thing to do. All in all, this was a good way to go into hiatus.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - the ending
Best Scene - Walter tells Sylvester that they are brothers
Best Aww Scene - everyone gathers around a crying Walter
Best Tribute - Walter sends his $15 million rocket to space with his sister's ashes in it
Best Alternative - sand snowman
Best Pun - "This is my dam boat" bumper sticker on the dam outboard motorboat
Worst Job Perks - I swear Scorpion gets paid decent money for many jobs and Walter can't be stuffing all his money into the rocket anymore? How come the roof is still leaking? Help starts at home, folks.
Worst Pep Talk - Paige's people not statistics speech
Biggest Eye Roll - Ralph saves the day…again. Sigh.
Biggest Laugh - Cabe joins Toby in helium Christmas carols and then Happy does too
Biggest Shock - they don't keep emergency gear in the SUV, like good outdoor shoes so Cabe doesn't have to scale a dam in dress shoes
Biggest Huh? - Who knew concrete could dry that quickly?
Most Heart Racing - Happy gets sucked into the pipe and almost chopped to bits
Most Well-Adjusted - Sylvester. How the heck did that happen? Sylvester is taking Megan's death better than anyone.
The "Oh Poor Baby" Award - Walter breaks down over Megan's death
The "Say What?" Award - Why in the world are they having Toby throw the rock salt bomb? That's a job that screams for Cabe, the only athletic person in the bunch.
The "Hellllooooooo? Are You in There, Common Sense?" Award - If you can't move the people down the road, why not at least move them up the mountain so they are NOT killed by the dam breaking?
The "Hellllooooooo? Are You in There, Common Sense?" Award, Part 2 - At least throw the rest of the rope down to Cabe. You know the part that didn't go through the winch.

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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