Monday, December 7, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of Nov. 29 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome back to Last Week in TV. I hope the holiday preparations are going well and you aren't stressing. This week was largely like an early Christmas present to me. With a few notable exceptions (cough Flarrow cough), most of my shows were better than usual. Plus MTV released the review copy of The Shannara Chronicles this week and as the previewer, I got a copy. I am so excited to watch it since it is my most anticipated new midseason show. Look later in the week to see if it lived up to my admittedly high expectations. Another high point was this week's nominated episode, Doctor Who's Blink. It may be my favorite episode of the show so far. Next week's nominated episode is Mom 3.01. If you have a show you'd like to nominate, simply fill out the 2 question form below. Just as a reminder I only review one episode per show per year. Speaking of Mom, I am happy to announce that frequent commentator Michaela will be reviewing the show for the column, starting this week. A big welcome, Michaela. I'm so glad to have you on the team. Until next week, please leave your own TV episode awards in the comments below and happy TV viewing.

Newly Dropped List: Grimm (dropped for romanticizing rape), Chicago Med (dropped for time and overall tone), Grandfathered (summer marathon)

Nominated Episode

Doctor Who - 3.10 - Blink

Generally when the main characters are missing for the majority of an episode so that guest characters can take the spotlight, it's a sign of big trouble. (Bitten from Supernatural, anyone?) However the set-up of Blink was brilliant. With the Doctor and Martha trapped in 1969, they turn to Sally Sparrow to help them reunite with the TARDIS so that they can save the world from the weeping angels, a race of aliens that turn to stone whenever someone looks at them. Throughout the episode, Sally gets clues from the Doctor via a note on the wall of an abandoned house and DVD Easter eggs. Although it does deal with the abstracts of time travel, this is actually a good episode for newbies to start on because it solves some of Doctor Who's biggest problems. For instance, most of the "villains" the Doctor faces are some the cheesiest ever to be put on screen. While there are moments when the weeping angels follow suit, there are also moments when they are genuinely creepy. The concept itself would not be amiss in a horror novel. For viewers that might find the Doctor a bit…um, over the top, this episode is a perfect introduction to the character as well. Plus it has a classic Whovian line. All in all, this is expertly paced, has loads of heart, and enough fun to keep the story from being too bleak. For me, it's one of the best Doctor Who episodes I've watched.

Grade: A

Best Reason to Watch - the pacing and the mystery unfold beautifully
Best Scene - the Doctor tricks the weeping angels into staring at each other
Best Advice - Martha tells Shipton to just nod when the Doctor pauses
Best Use of Music - the creepy angels on the move music for whenever they change
Most Fun Interaction - Shipton and Sally
Most Strange Set-Up - the Doctor is absent throughout most of the episode
Most Abnormal - Sally isn't near as freaked out about what's happening as she should be
Biggest Face Palm - Why not throw something through the glass and get out that way? Sticking your partner near the deadly alien while you check out the doors doesn't seem like a good plan either.
Biggest Laugh - the timey wimey detector
The "Thanks Soooo Much" Award - nothing like making people terrified of statuary
The "Welcome Back" Award - Finlay Robertson from my favorite version of Persuasion / Carey Mulligan from that other version of Pride & Prejudice

Best Quotes -
1. Doctor: "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect but actually from a nonlinear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, time-y wimey, stuff." Sally: "Started well, that sentence."
2. Doctor: "Fascinating race, the weeping angels. The only psychopaths in the universe to kill you nicely. No mess, no fuss. They just zap you in the past and let you live to death. The rest of your life used up and blown away in the blink of an eye. You die in the past and in the present they consume the energy of all the days you might have had. All your stolen moments."
3. Sally: "I like old things. They make me feel sad." Kathy: "What's good about sad?" Sally: "It's happy for deep people."
4. Shipton: "Where am I?" Doctor: "1969. Not bad as it goes. You've got the moon landing to look forward to." Martha: "Oh the moon landing's brilliant. We went 4 times back when we had transport." Doctor: "Working on it." Shipton: "How did I get here?" Doctor: "Same way we did. Touch of an angel."
5. Kathy: "What are you doing? It could be a burglar." Sally: "A burglar who rings the doorbell?"

Catch-Up Episode of the Week

My normal rule is that the episode of the week has to actually air in that week. However, Code Black's previous episode blew me away more than anything except the nominated episode so I'm making an exception here. It really was great in a week of better than normal episodes.

Code Black - 1.09 - The Son Rises

Egads! That was one tough, touching episode. With the exception of the drunk, drug mule idiot subplot, all of the patient stories were even more moving than the next. It made it the best episode of Code Black so far. I tend to be cynical but I was moved by the man who just wanted to sing who then sang the dementia patient into his death. I was touched by the son who jumped out of the bathroom window to save his family from a brutal home invasion and how each of the family members put the others before themselves. I was incredibly touched by the 18 year-old taking care of his dementia-diagnosed father, who didn't even recognize him. So many good stories topped off by two scenes - Rorish remembering her son and Jesse cheering her up and then Christa remembering her son and helping Jeremy say goodbye to his dad. I could do without Cole trying to woo Rorish and the sub-sub-plot of Mario being a douche to Angus again is tiresome, but all around, this was an exceptional episode.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - pick a patient's story and you've got a winner (except drunk drug mule)
Best Scene - Mario assures the son that what he did was heroic
Best Back Story - Rorish taking her son to see The Lion king
Best Forward Movement - Cole shakes his dad's hand
Best Friend - Jesse, who sings The Lion King for Rorish
Most Touching Moment - the Irvin family reunites
Most Inspiring - the Lion King cast sings an old man into his death for his child
Most Intense - the cold open with the home invasion family
Most Fun - the Lion King cast reminiscing
Most Noble - Jeremy, who at 18 takes care of his cancer-ridden father who also has dementia
Worst Oops - the nurse who runs into the patient with a knife sticking out of his heart
Worst Time for a Commercial Break - the firework inside the guy starts smoking in the elevator, the doors close, and fade to black
Biggest Liar - Mario, who still shafts Angus after Angus covers for him
Biggest Hmmm - I'm not a fan of changing cast midway through a show so kicking Dr. Taylor out on such a flimsy excuse does not sit well with me.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Alicia Coppola, who played Talia Hale on Teen Wolf / LJ Benet from Dog with a Blog

Best Quotes -
1. Malaya: "What about Guthrie? He's been here since dial-up." Jesse: "Dial-up wasn't that long ago."
2. Mario: "You were dead. You were all dead, except you jumped out that window and you dragged yourself through unimaginable pain to get help. That is a fact."
3. Patient: "She's gonna be my wife." Perello: "He should probably be more concerned with his prison wife."
4. Christa: "Not a day goes by that I don't wonder if I made my son work too hard to die."
5. Hudson: "He'd know you were there." Jeremy: "No, he wouldn't. He hasn't known who I am in a long time." Hudson: "Maybe it'd be enough that he'd know he wasn't alone."

Episode of the Week

Supernatural - 11.08 - Just My Imagination

One of Supernatural's enduring qualities is that it can take a concept so bizarre that it sounds absolutely ludicrous on paper and turn it into something thought-provoking and even heartfelt. This was one of the better episodes to do so. A storyline about imaginary friends coming to life should be all gags and silliness but in the end Sam's imaginary friend from childhood helped him come to grips with a very adult problem he currently has. It took the support of a former friend to show Sam how much he has changed and how brave he is. For Dean to acknowledge that an imaginary friend dressed like Mork was of real use to Sam growing up was a big step too. Still this was Sam's show and the support and loyalty he showed to Sully was awesome. It helped that we also got a new glimpse into Sam's childhood too. I don't believe that even John is douchey enough to leave a 9 year old by himself for days, but the actor portraying Young Sam did an excellent job. As did Young Dean again too. The casting directors of Supernatural get all the praise here. Well and Richard Speight, Jr. too. Old Gabriel himself directed this one.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - back story on Sam and Sully
Best Scene - Sully pep talks Sam at the end after Sam pep talks him
Best Air Guitar - Weems, who impresses even Dean…not that he'd admit it
Best Continuity - Sam breaking his arm as a kid / Sully knows Sam saved the world
Best Nostalgia - teddy bear doctors / weirdly decorated motel room
Worst Nostalgia - Carver's season 8 Sam
Worst Combination - nacho chips, marshmallow crème, and sprinkles
Biggest Ouch - Sam tells Sully to leave
Biggest Ewww - the mom with sparkly blood all over her face
Biggest "Yeah, I Don't Think So" Award - no way Sam buys a bus ticket by himself for Milwaukee and the bus people don't question it or call the cops
Most Fun - the Ever Think game
Most Loyal - Sam, who even helps his imaginary friend in a crisis
Creepiest Imaginary Friend - the manicorn
The "Say What?" Award - Sully encouraged Sam to run away as a 9 year old. What kind of friend is that?
The "Way Over the Line" Award - Dean talking about flushing the imaginary mermaid body
The "Say What?" Award - So now John is leaving 9 year-old Sam alone for days at a time? I buy John is a grade-A douche and a terrible father, but I don't buy this at all. I'm not sure I buy Dean leaving Sammy alone that young either.
The "Well That Will Cause Cavities" Award - the morning candy table
The "Welcome Back" Award - Dylan Everett as Young Dean again / Dylan Kingwell from The Returned / Nate Torrence from Mr. Sunshine / Carrie Genzel from the hideous Bugs episode / Anja Svcic from the better than expected Fallen Idols episode

Best Quotes -
1. Sully: "Well now that you know about Audrey, you'll probably never want to see me again." Sam: "Ever think maybe you're a hero to me. Sully, one thing I've learned…heroes aren't perfect."
2. Dean: "Reese, trust me. Revenge ain't gonna make you feel better. Listen, I have seen more than my share of monsters and I mean real monsters, bad. These guys, these are Sesame Street Mother Theresa's, but when I wasn't there for my little brother, Sully was. Now I'm not saying that he didn't make a mistake but you know that there is not a monstrous bone in his body."
3. Dean: "Oh…oh yeah, that kid is gonna need all the shrinks."
4. Sully: "Sam, I want you to listen to me. You can be whatever you want to be. You're not Dean. You're not your dad. You're Sam and Sam is so awesome."
5. Dean: "Okay, say Bozo is legit alright. Which, you know….hello Crazy Town but okay. How is this our problem?" Sam: "Because someone's dead." Dean: "No, something is dead. Fairy Godmother getting capped…that ain't our beat."
6. Sam: "Dean, we need to seriously discuss me going to the cage." Dean: "Okay. Not happening. Good talk."

Guest Reviews

Again we didn't have enough responses to make an article for The Librarians, so thanks to Emma who stepped up to review it here instead.

The Librarians - 2.06 - And the Infernal Contract
BY Emma

What was your favorite thing about this episode?
Jenkins busting into the basement to save the Librarians. The man certainly knows how to make an entrance!

If you could change anything about this episode, what would it be?
I wish that it somehow tied to the Fictionals myth-arc. It feels like it's been ages since we actually got some movement on that story line.

Jake confronts Ezekiel about NOT using the magical top to steal a fortune and says that Ezekiel is becoming a good guy. Do you agree? What would you like to see in Ezekiel's character growth?
I have a suspicion that Ezekiel has always been a good guy but his arrogance makes it hard to see. I really want to learn more about his past, particularly his time as a royal thief. He seems to be accepting the team dynamic a bit more this season so I'd like to see that continue.

In this episode, the librarians are trying to break a contract with a demon. Many genre shows have done similar themes. How well do you feel The Librarians pulled off this traditional storyline?
I think they did a great job - it was nice to see Eve be the one to outsmart him proving that even though she's not a genius like the Librarians, she can hold her own in a battle of wits.

A large part of the plot in this episode concerned whether people should try to use evil magic for good. The librarians seemed ready to give in when Jenkins arrived and Jenkins told Eve that her job is to protect the librarians' souls from temptation instead of protecting their lives. Would you like to see this theme developed more? Would you like to see the librarians use the magical tools they collect more?
Yes - on both counts! They seem to be setting Cassandra up as the Librarian that would jump at the chance to use magic but they also have this Library full of items that could help them in the procurement of other, more dangerous, artifacts. Even Artie let Pete and Myka use some warehouse artifacts if it could help them so I think Jenkins should too!

What grade would you give this episode? Why?
B. Docking points for no movement on the Fictionals story line. Again.

Anything you would like to add?
Love that John de Lancie was the demon - he played my favorite ST:TNG villain so it was a real treat to see him again

Mom - 3.04 - Sawdust and Brisket
BY Michaela Kollin

There was no new episode of Mom this week (Grr.. football!!!), so instead I’m reviewing last week’s episode because it was my favorite of the year so far. Christy and Violet reconnect, while Bonnie gets in a fight with a woman in her building.

Violet comes home to rebuild her relationship with Christy after Gregory suggests that she do so. A woman who Bonnie stole cat tranquilizers from after she fell off the wagon snubs her. She complains about this to Marjorie and Christy over lunch. Marjorie tells her to take responsibility and make amends which causes Christy to laugh at the idea that she would do either one. Later, Christy and Violet go shopping and bond over Christy’s previous degenerate lifestyle, including shoplifting a Hello Kitty backpack for Violet when she was a little girl, which was wrong, but still kind of sweet. Violet says she realizes Christy did the best she could and forgives her for screwing up in the past. The two hug and Christy gets teary-eyed (as did I, on the inside). Meanwhile Bonnie tries apologizing, but chickens out and leaves after saying “I don’t like you; you don’t like me.” Nice apology. Later Christy gives her the same advice Marjorie did and Bonnie reluctantly stomps over to Beverly’s house to give her an apology and fifty bucks. She also admits to turning her rent check in late and eating her fruit of the month baskets. Beverly refuses to forgive her and throws the money back in Bonnie’s face. She collects her money- and her dignity, and goes to have dinner with Christy, Violet, and Violet’s boyfriend, Gregory- who apparently giggles during sex. The three laugh conspiratorially about it. Gregory comes back in and asks what’s so funny and Christy replies “You know us girls, we just like to giggle!” Bonnie adds “Multiple times!”. Gregory doesn't get it and casually mentions that Violet seems happy. Christy thanks him for getting Violet to open up to her. Greg wants Bonnie to reconnect with Christy so she can bond more effectively with their own children. Bonnie apologizes offhandedly and Christy sarcastically replies “Too late.” Gregory can’t wait to be a father and Bonnie warns him not to wait too long or he’ll be “shooting sawdust”. Ew, thanks for the mental image. Christy says they have time and Violet will probably want to finish college and start a career before having another baby. Gregory does a verbal double-take. Apparently, he didn’t know Violet had already given birth. An awkward silence ensues as Violet re-enters. Christy says she’d assumed Violet told Gregory about the baby and Violet gets angry and storms out of the room. Bonnie and Christy ditch dinner and Christy looks at pictures from when Violet still loved her. Beverly apologizes to Bonnie, saying she overreacted because her alcoholic father made her too many empty apologies. Violet also apologizes to Christy for blaming her for her own mistakes. Christy tells Violet she should ask for Gregory’s forgiveness and Violet thanks her. Bonnie says Christy’s becoming a good mother. Christy thanks her, but won’t say it back.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch- The warm fuzzies generated from watching Christy reconnect with her often distant and surly daughter Violet.
Weirdest Habit- Gregory giggles during sex.
Best Scene- Christy and Bonnie have dinner with Gregory and Violet and Christy blows up Violet’s relationship with Gregory.
Worst at Keeping Secrets- Christy, who let two major secrets slip during dinner with Gregory.
Worst Building Manager- Bonnie, who turns in her tenants' rent checks late and steals drugs and fruit baskets from them.
Biggest “Duh”- Tie between Gregory finding out Violet had already had a baby and Violet finding out George Bush Sr was president as well.

Best Quotes:
1. Christy: “Now I know she has a marijuana leaf tattooed on her a**, but still.”
2. Bonnie: “They’re not drugs; they’re cat tranquilizers.”
3. Christy: “Turns out being a high school dropout, recovering alcoholic, failed pole dancer with two different kids from two different loser baby daddies makes me the cool mom!”
4. Christy: “She’s just depressed because she found out how much people hate her.”
5. Violet: “Did you know George Bush’s dad was president too?”

Nashville- 4.09 Three's a Crowd
BY Jessica VanWinkle

The title of the episode was very fitting- three is a crowd, and I'm so not here for more drama between Rayna and Deacon. Rayna, just say no to Markus Keen. If Markus could just leave town already that would be fantastic. However, I'm choosing to believe that Rayna's smart and she and Deacon will be just fine. They have to be. And I thought the last scene between the two of them was adorable. Also, can the writers just go ahead and put Scarlett and Gunnar together already? I know some viewers have mixed feelings about these two, but I personally like them. And if they get back together, Erin and Caleb can leave and then there will be more time for characters we care about. Everyone wins! This week wasn't all bad. I'm liking Luke more each week and I'm glad the writers are starting to give him more airtime. I do hope that he and Cole can patch up their relationship. I could have done with less bratty Cole, but at least he has an excuse unlike Maddie. I felt bad for Daphne this week. She was so excited to have this record deal and sing with her sister, but Maddie kept shooting her down and insulting her. I'm glad Daphne yelled at her. I don't know how much more of Maddie I can take. It's hard to believe I liked her at one point. I felt bad for Avery, too. I wish he would just go public about his problems with Juliette. I wonder if he'll tell everyone next week. Next week is the midseason finale, and I can't wait to see what happens. I have a feeling a big cliffhanger is coming!

Grade: B

Best Scene- I actually loved the opening scene with Scarlett and Gunnar on the tour bus and music playing in the background. Clare Bowen's voice is so beautiful.
Best Reason to Watch- Drama. Relationship drama and teenage drama.
Most Improved Character- Luke Wheeler
Least Annoying Child- Daphne Conrad
Dumbest Plot- Erin convinces Gunnar to grope the statue. This was the dumbest thing ever and such a waste of time.
Character That Should Leave Town- Erin. And Caleb. Markus. Maddie. Gabriella. Actually, just get a bus and they can all leave together.
Characters That I Miss- Juliette and Layla. I hope Layla's back next week.

Best Quotes -
1. Deacon: "My first impression of the guy is he's an arrogant son of a b**." Rayna: "Well you're not wrong."
2. Luke: "I still can't get used that word. In my day 'branding' meant taking a hot poker to a cow."
3. Avery: "I just had to bail on my gig at the Five Spot to take yet another cr** job just to make ends meet. So forgive me if I'm not being sensitive enough to your high class problem."
4. Avery: "What we wanna do and what we need to do...they don't always line up."
5. Deacon: "He can change any damn lyrics he wants. He can have the whole damn song. I got the real prize."

SHIELD - - 3.09 - Closure
BY Swanpride

Wow! Just wow! This is everything I hoped for and more! This episode could have easily been a mid-season finale with everything that happened. The writers expertly took the ATCU out of the picture for now. It wasn't really a surprise (Honestly I was just waiting for something to happen as soon as Coulson and Rosalind sat down for dinner. They more or less did everything which is a death sentence in a TV show or movie, except Rosalind saying that she plans to retire), but the emotional impact was certainly there.
I think it is high time for some Brett Dalton appreciation. The way he played Ward, especially the moment when the character lost control when he realized what Coulson had done, was on point. And the way he can go from smiling about Fitzsimmons mouthing off towards Malick to taking Simmons apart in his anger is utterly terrifying. There were so many good moments in this episode, it is easier to mention the not so good ones....Okay, that was fast. Yeah, I admit it, I enjoyed every second of this. It was shocking, thoughtful, suspenseful, terrifying, heart-warming, sad and bada** at the same time. What more can you asked from a TV show?

Grade: A++++++++++++

Best Reason to Watch - The only reason to not do it is a weak heart
Best Scene - Everything involving Fitzsimmons. Get your paws off my Sciencebabies!
Best Character - Mack! Great to know that someone keeps a level head! (The only thing missing is a proper shotgun axe).
Best Team-up - Poor Bobbi and Hunter having to deal with Coulson at his most angry.
Best Turn - Thomas telling yet another story about what happened in the past. Not sure if he is trustworthy, though. They have changed the narrative so often, I wouldn't put it past Thomas being a master manipulator who used Ward as a weapon against Christian.
Best Prop - I was quite amused that Hydra turned the Monolith into some sort of witch circle.
Best Action - Coulson unleashed is quite a bada**
Most Creepy - The torture instruments. My imagination was showing me worse stuff than they could ever show in screen. And watching Fitz having to listen to Jemma's scream was torture in itself.
Most Random Observation - Good to know Ward had enough downtime to watch Mad Max: Fury Road.
Biggest Head Scratcher - How exactly did Coulson survive that fall? Is going through the portal slowing your speed down?
My Prediction of the Week - They will unleash whatever is on the other side, won't they?

Best Quote:
1. Coulson: "Is it me or is every burger which is All-American just really awful for you?"
2. Hunter: *shoots in the ceiling* "Anyone need explaining what to do next?"
3. Fitz: "I'm just not strong enough to life in a world which doesn't have you in it."

New Shows

Superstore - 1.01 / 1.02 / 1.03 - Pilot / Magazine Profile / Shots and Salsa

Superstore is not at all funny but it is hypocritical so there's that. For a show that makes stereotypes and racism the main focus of the third episode, it sure embraces those stereotypes for their characters. You have the bumbling, overly enthusiastic boss with low self-esteem, which was done better on Raising Hope. You have the idiot teen mom with her even stupider music wannabe boyfriend. There's the idealist who's so far up himself that he grates on everyone's nerves, but is sadly also the main character. There are the creepers, the neurotics, the overly tough female, the worldwise best friend, and the world weary assistant who actually runs everything. You've seen it in every office/workplace comedy you've seen. The difference is that those tended to get past the stereotypes quickly and let you see who the characters really are. They had heart. In this one it feels like the stereotype is who the character really is and I've no time for a show that preaches about how bad that is while offering up the same tired stuff. Still it's not the worst comedy debut this season, so there's that.

Grade: C-
Ranking - 2-
Audience - people desperate to replace their favorite cancelled office comedy and aren't too picky about with what

Best Reason to Watch - Amy, who is the only character that is not a completely over the top stereotype
Best Scene - Amy vs. the van lady
Best Save - Garrett takes a picture with Glenn so he feels better about the corporate visit / Garrett gets Jonah out of a crowd of angry customers by announcing that it is time for everyone to clock out
Biggest Redemption - Jonah puts Day-Glo stars on the ceiling
Biggest Facepalm - The pharmacist tells Jonah to give a patient a shot and I am done with this show. That's beyond ludicrous and likely to forfeit his medical license.
Biggest Oops - Jonah marks all the electronics for a quarter each
Biggest What the Heck? - What even was this sexual harassment thing? It makes no sense and it wasn't funny at all.
Least Convincing - the wedding proposal flash mob
Most Intriguing - Amy's wedding band
Most Enthusiastic - Dina, about blowing someone's brains out all over the store
Most Depressing - Amy's job speech
Most Needing to Get Kicked to the Curb - Bo
Most Inappropriate - showing employees groping each other on video for a sexual harassment seminar, which even outcreeps the employees groping each other on the property
Most Obnoxious - pilot = Jonah, and that's with stiff competition / everything else = Bo
The "Way to Make Every Single Thing Worse" Award - Jonah, just shut up. Please.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Eliza Coupe from the sadly canceled Benched / America Ferrera, best known as Ugly Betty / Ben Feldman recently from A to Z

Best Quotes -
1. Amy: "Great. I hope you and your fiancé are very happy together…and that you don't procreate."
2. Jonah: "I had nothing to do with this." Amy: "Yeah, I know. This is the fault of YouTube."
3. Garrett: "Thanks a lot guys. When I woke up this morning I was hoping to learn about racism from a white lady."
4. Amy: "This might be a cultural thing, but around here the less screwing everything up you do the better." Jonah: "You talking about the cans or the pricing thing?" Amy: "You see the fact that it's your first day and there's already more than one option of things you've screwed up is not a good thing."
5. Garrett: "I wonder what will be left inside of this box. Could it be Grace? I hope not. If you're Grace's parents, please pick her up at customer service."
6. Jonah: "I mean most guys don’t even bother threatening to kill you when they propose."

Weekly Shows

Agent X - 1.05 - Truth, Lies, and Consequences

Agent X is back from the fairly humdrum movement of last episode. The urgency in this and the countdown to disaster reminded me of Scorpion with fewer twists, which actually was a good thing. The somewhat straightforward plot allowed the spotlight to be on the conspiracy and the hunt for a cure. I even liked the underhanded bargaining with the CIA because that rings more true than this buddy-buddy relationship between the President and the VP. Does the President not employ a speechwriter? All in all, this is what I want from Agent X - a suspenseful plot, good pacing, and a bit of intrigue on the side. Old X definitely provided that, right up to the very end. I'd love to see more of him. What I don't need to see though is the Agent X version of slow-mo. This episode didn't need it and it actually cut down on the suspense they were trying to build.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - the plotting is back to turbo level
Best Scene - Millar gives John the cure
Best Twist - the government not only took all of Molly's proof of a biological weapon but labeled her a terrorist as well, forcing her to go on the run
Best Save - Harold takes out Molly before she can take out John
Biggest Huh? - Why does Old X have the army man in his car? Surely John would recognize his own father so he has to be connected in some way to John's father.
Biggest Groan - John's slow crawl to unplug the fireworks right before it gets to the exact one with the toxin
Biggest Traitor - General Scott, on so many levels
Least Surprising - the US took the biological weapon for itself
Most Intense - John's workout
Most Suspenseful - nothing like a countdown to sure death for miles to give an episode that extra kick
Most Questionable Present - What are you doing giving your child a lighter for a present?
Worst Plan for a Terrorist - Turning the music up to "shake the house" level seems like a great way to get the police involved with a noise complaint. These three are not the smartest bulbs.
The "I'm NOT Buying It" Award - Our government does some really stupid things. Like sub-basement stupid. Still I'm not buying that they left the most dangerous biological weapon on earth in the hands of a lovesick geek. Scratch that - I'm not buying that they let anyone that naïve in the building, much less near a weapon.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Fred Dryer, from Hunter and the perfect person to play an Agent X / Madeline Zima, recently being the only semi-awesome thing about her episode of Grimm outside of Trubel

Best Quotes -
1. John: "More like a Star Trek fan than a bioterrorist." Millar: "They're not mutually exclusive."
2. John: "Harold, it's almost next to impossible for another human being to be in as much trouble as you are in right now."
3. Hood: "After Gray Lawson's untimely death, I have been appointed acting director of the CIA." Natalie: "Congratulations. I'll try not to judge you by the actions of your predecessor."
4. Harold: "I'm never dating again." John: "They're not all that crazy."
5. Old X: "Well you know what they say. Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice, huh?"

Ash vs. Evil Dead - 1.06 - The Killer of Killers

This show is gory. It's always going to be gory. But this episode was beyond gory, so much so that I got a little nauseous by the 12th gallon of fake blood. The kid going through the ceiling fan was the last straw for my stomach and it turned into a hand-over-eyes event for me. Other than that, Kelly did some cathartic killing (?) and Amanda joined the team. Also Ruby seems to be gone but I'd be surprised if that were really true. After all, we still don't know her true intentions or why she wants the book. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it's not good.

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - team is back on track and heading to the cabin
Best Reason to Fast Forward - ALL the gore
Best Scene / Least Surprising - Amanda joins Team Ash
Most Surprising - Amanda leaves her car behind to do it
Most in Need of Therapy - Kelly, who takes a meat clever to a deadite over and over again
Most Disgusting - face plant into the urinal
Most Iconic - chainsaw hand
Biggest Idiots - Who opens the chest with the bad mojo book in it? What an idiot(s)!
Biggest Say What? - Ruby gets tossed into a pyre in the cold open
Worst Death - tie - by ice skate and by ceiling fan
Best Music - Renegade by Styx

Best Quotes -
1. Ash: "How's your day going?" Amanda: "Not great." Ash: "Welcome to my world. You walk into a diner. All you want is a pile of hot cakes. What do you get? A pile of corpses and everybody wants to blame it on you."
2. Ash: "I've put your lives in danger too much already. And this cabin, if you go there you would end up possessed and I would have to kill you both and cut your heads off and that would just be bad for everybody." Kelly: "No. I want payback. You don't get to take that away from me." Pablo: "Yeah, we knew what we were getting into when we joined up with you. Well, no we didn't. Not even a little bit."
3. Pablo: "My uncle, he always said, 'Pablito, beware anger. Fear revenge. If once you start down that path, forever it will dominate your destiny.' Consume you, it will." Kelly: "Did you just Yoda quote me?" Pablo: "Yeah." Kelly: "Don't worry. I'm sure we'll be dead way before then."
4. Kelly: "You're hurting those pancakes." Ash: "I know what I have to do." Pablo: "Chew before you swallow."
5. Lem: "I'm really getting my life together. You know I even joined the militia. Hence the ammo. 'Always be stockpiling.' That's our motto." Ash: "That's a dumb motto." Lem: "I joined after they came up with it."

Chicago Med - 1.03 - Fallback

Two medical shows debuted in one TV season and alas my schedule only allows for one. Three episodes I gave, searching for the one to best fit me. One, Chicago Med, comes from a prestigious franchise. It has the hallmarks of a Gray's Anatomy, where the focus is on the doctors and their relationships. It's ripe for shipping galore and will undoubtedly make great strides in the neuroses of the staff. It will survive. The other, Code Black, has a creator with one failed series behind him and a talented but often overlooked cast. It focuses on the cases and reveals the doctors through them. It is neither flashy nor scandalous. It will be canceled. Two medical shows debuted in one TV season, and I - I chose the one less watched, but that sadly will make zero difference.

Grade: C+
Status - Dropped

Best Reason to Watch - lots of family drama, especially the soldier story
Best Reason to Fast Forward - lots of family and co-worker drama, especially Manning and Halstead
Best Scene - Goodwin politely tells off Connor's obnoxious father
Best Back Story - Connor
Best Guest - Kelly Severide, one of the few people from the Chicago franchise I recognize, mostly from the Favorite Character Contest
Biggest Douche - no questions about it, Cornelius Rhodes
Biggest Facepalm - the military wife is surprised that poisoning your husband to keep him home is a crime
Least Likely to Show Up on Code Black - Zanetti, who has no patience with interns
Most Likely to Show Up on Code Black - Maggie, who would get along well with Rorish - no nonsense but she actually cares about helping make good doctors
Most Likely to Forgive - Trevor Jackson, who goes to the police station with his wife after she poisoned him
Most Likely to Hold a Grudge - Manning, maybe / everyone in the Rhodes family, definitely
Most Likely to Take a Stand - Goodwin, who doesn't let Connor's father boss her around
Most Talented - Manning and her violin

Best Quotes -
1. Charles: "That's your dad?" Connor: "Yep." Charles: "Fathers like that keep me in business, baby."
2. Halstead: "I don't believe this. I miss something with one patient and it's too late to fix it. Then I catch something like this early on and I still can't fix it. Nat, the medicine is clear. The patient should not be making this decision. I should." Manning: "So you became a doctor to tell people what to do?" Halstead: "I became a doctor to save people's lives. It's all I've ever wanted to do. I don't have a fall back plan or some hidden passion. This is it for me. It's just no one ever told me there'd be this much loss involved."
3. Zanetti: "Mr. Rhodes can make a $200 million gift, but I still will not let him dictate who performs surgery in this hospital and I think going to war for that conniving SOB is not a good idea."
4. Manning: "I don't want to scare you but becoming a doctor was actually my fallback plan. I wanted to be a musician. A violinist in fact."
5. Charles: "You don't lie a whole lot, do you? I mean you're certainly not very good at it…to your great credit."

Code Black - 1.10 - Cardiac Support

This should have been the most touching episode of Code Black, given that Jesse was one of the patients. When it came to the relationship between Rorish and Jesse, it was. However something about it fell flat. Maybe it is because I watched this right after the far superior 1.09. Maybe it was because they were trying to hard with the Jesse pathos. Most definitely part of it was that in trying to raise ratings, they seem to be going for a Grey's Anatomy approach. That's the absolute worst thing they can do with this show. I would rather it go out on its own terms than turn into a bed-hopping, neurosis-feeding, medical soap about people I wouldn't trust to change my bandage much less save my life. This show needs to stay focused on the cases and let the characters shine through them.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the relationship between Jesse and Rorish
Best Scene - Rorish checks on Jesse
Best Result - the drug addict throws out her stash after Cole lays some hard truths down
Best Moment - Rorish fist bumps Hudson
Best Back Story - Mario talks to the kid with Down Syndrome
Best Peace Offering - Cole offers to let his dad in surgery with him
Biggest Ouch - Aubrey tells her mom that she wishes there was a drug to make her mom like her
Worst Parent Ever - mom feeds her daughter thyroid pills without her knowledge so she loses weight
Most Inappropriate - Rorish kisses Cole at work and this turns into some weird Grey's Anatomy thing. Say it isn't so. I don't want to know about the doctors' sex lives. I just want them to save interesting patients.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Jamie Luner from Just the 10 of Us and Melrose Place

Best Quotes -
1. Jesse: "Ahhh listen, before I'm dead, there's something I've got to tell you." Rorish: "Shut up. You're not dead." Jesse: "Neither are you." Rorish: "What are you talking about?" Jesse: "You're alive." Rorish: "I know that." Jesse: "I don't think you do. You're alive. They're not." Rorish: "Jesse, what are you doing?" Jesse: "What I'm telling you is that if I die today, my one wish would be that you live, really live. Pretty sure that's their wish too."
2. Hudson: "What is it Jesse says? 'Lean on each other. That's what siblings are for.' You think he's all you have but you're wrong, Leanne. You have me. You have all of us." Rorish: "Thank you."
3. Rorish: "Hey Jesse, I want to tell you something." Jesse: "I must be about to die because you're gonna say something touchy-feely." Rorish: "You're not gonna die because I need you. Okay, I need you." Jesse: "I know. I love you too."
4. Perello: "Maybe I don't quite get it but I have an ER to run. I need you to say something motivational. Get the people back to work. I would but coming from me it might seem like I'm a cold, unfeeling b**. From you, they'll understand. Okay?"
5. Rorish: "What happened?" Jesse: "I missed you."

CSI: Cyber - 2.09 - iWitness

This one hits hard because campus rape is still an epidemic in America and it is still whitewashed to an extent by Hollywood, turning rape and abuse into some twisted version of romance where people root for the "bad boy" or, to a lesser extent, "bad girl" to change. You'd think that we would have progressed much farther beyond rape as shipping and redemption arcs by now. This episode encompasses the private shame rape victims often feel and the public ostracism they sometimes face. Yet it also brought up the topic of false rape charges and how devastating they can be too. It's rare that a TV series looks at both sides with compassion and I give them kudos for that. Avery did push too much at the end but overall CSI: Cyber handled the issue well, although it was preachy at times.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - for the most part they treated the subject with respect
Best Scene - Quinn tells off the murderer
Best Action Scene - Nelson's fake mob fight
Most Shocking - I thought the Athletics Director was the rapist/murderer but in hindsight it makes more sense that he was the murderer after the fact
Biggest Say What? - What reformed hacker posts their new identity online? Quinn knew the site was hackable, given that she hacked it herself. Why leave clues so someone could find her or her husband?
Biggest Hmmm - Someone paid Quinn $25,000 to delete the web post. Shouldn't the first way to narrow down the suspect be financial? What kind of college kid has $25,000 in spare change? Plus, they would have to know how to get in touch with a hacker. Seems like a small pool of suspects, like an adult.
The "I Don't Think So" Award - I'm in education. We review FERPA every year. There is nothing in FERPA that prevents a school from releasing information if there is a court order to do so. In fact, that's one of the times when you have to. Nothing about this makes sense.
The "Back Off" Award - Avery needs to allow Shelby to make her own choices about whether she continues to go to school there. She's pushing her agenda too hard, not allowing Shelby to cope in her own way.
The "Who Knew?" Award - So a federal warrant can be summarily dismissed by a college athletics' director. Wouldn't they have to make a motion to block it? The FBI would have access to their electronic devices until the school's lawyers presented them with another judge's order forcing them to stand down.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Rob Estes from Melrose Place / Justin Prentice from Malibu Country

Best Quotes -
1. Raven: "A watched progress bar never uploads."
2. Nelson: "I mean this phone could belong to anyone…except a hacker."
3. Elijah: "Red Zone, as in football?" Avery: "No. On college campuses, the Red Zone is the time in between new student orientation and the Thanksgiving Break when students are at greatest risk of sexual assault." Elijah: "So instead of fixing the problem, they named it? Incredible."
4. Mason: "Excellent strategy - if the university won't speak up for the students, we'll speak up for them ourselves."

Flash / Arrow - 2.08 / 4.08 - Legends of Today / Legends of Tomorrow

I was going to review these 2 separately but my eyes couldn't keep rolling that hard without permanent damage. This speech on The Flash portion is the heart of what's wrong with this crossover:

Barry: "It's just the rules keep changing. One day I have to run through time. The next I'm fighting a telepathic gorilla. And now, we're what? We're chasing down an immortal madman on a rampage against a reincarnated warrior priestess."

I started off skeptical about metahumans. Then I groaned my way through time travel. Earth 2 about ended me. Now we've got immortals and reincarnations. I think my favorite comic book based show has gotten way, way too comic book-y. It's making the kind of sense that doesn't and it holds the writers to absolutely no logic standards. We've just entered into "Anything Goes Land," which it's my least favorite fictional town. It doesn't help that I find Arrow-verse annoying here either. On the plus side, it is shocking to see Oliver smile that much in one 43 minute block. And then came….the melodrama. Brain-crushing, sigh-inducing melodrama. I can't be the only person who hated the Thea baby daddy fiasco but apparently enough people liked it that they decided to go for round 2. At 22 minutes in, I was praying for Barry to hit fast forward on the whole episode….only to be brained by yet another filler time travel plot device. That's when my head literally hit my desk. So Mark Pedowitz, in the interest of avoiding concussion, exactly how much money do I need to raise to NEVER do this again? I know it raises Arrow's ratings, but only temporarily, and there's not enough brain bleach in the world for this hokum.

Grade: C- (for immortals) / D (for relationship melodrama)

Best Reason to Watch - It was good seeing Thea and Diggle again. I miss them.
Best Scene - Wells does not die
Best Aww Moment - Oliver plays with his son
Best Moral - with teamwork everyone wins, except the bad guy
Best Nostalgia - they mentioned Tommy
Biggest Improvement - the Arrow Cave
Biggest Melodrama - Oliver and Felicity and baby mama drama
Worst Secret Keeper - Cisco, who blurts out Barry's name in front of his girlfriend
Worst Plan - walking out of Arrow Cave with a bad guy immortal after you
Biggest Face Palm - Could someone please grab the staff? You know that one that gives the villain his powers and can also kill him. That one you've been tracking. That one that is just lying on the warehouse ground. Yeah, that one.
Biggest Leap of Faith, Literally - Kendra jumps off a building to see if she can fly
Biggest Hmm - Shouldn't they be worrying about all those arrows ricocheting off Drac Dude's metal fan?
The "Some Things Never Change" Award - good to see John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn is still overacting like usual
The "Some Things Do" Award - Oliver smiles now and has some social skills / Diggle and Thea look like they have actual roles to play and maybe even a part of the storyline
The "I Think Saw This Already" Award - It was called The Mummy and I liked it better.
The "Are You Kidding Me?' Award - You made me sit through that freaking Felicity-Oliver fight and then call a cosmic do-over? Seriously? That was a complete peanut-packed filler waste of time.
The "Oh Great. It's Him Again" Award - I left Arrow in part because Merlyn came back. Now he's on The Flash? Urgh!
The "Oh Great. It's Him Again - Part 2" Award - And I am stuck with Jay and his temper tantrums again. This sucks out loud.
The "Oh Great. It's Melodrama Again" Award - Oliver's long lost son just happens to be in Central City. Good to know….for Arrow fans.
The "I'm with You" Award - Cisco, I agree that you don't need to go to Star City. In fact, I am good with no more crossovers ever again. I hate having to watch Arrow to know what's going on with The Flash. It's not like The Flash gets any benefit from it anyway.

Best Quotes -
1. Barry: "Oliver, I just saved you guys from whatever the hell Flock of Seagulls was about to do…"
2. Thea: "Well I Googled reincarnated nut jobs and came up with nothing." Carter: "Kendra and I will be the reincarnated nut jobs. Savage is merely immortal." Laurel: "Really?" Thea: "Welcome to the new normal."
3. Cisco: "Since when did our lives suddenly become an Indiana Jones movie?"
4. Thea: "A bunch of superheroes in a farmhouse? I feel like I've seen that in a movie before."
5. Cisco: "You're 0 for 206 and you still think you're her best bet."
6. Barry: "I just never thought I'd have super powers and feel more powerless than I ever have in my entire life."
7. Barry: "Alright, I'm just curious. Did you rehearse that speech in a mirror this morning or is this all just off the cuff?"
8. Cisco: "Barry, the first rule of time travel is you don't talk about time travel because by having this conversation we're screwing history."

Into the Badlands - 1.03 - White Stork Spreads Wings

It's another good episode of Into the Badlands, with frequent action breaks in an engaging story. I am very glad that the Widow made it through the attack because she's a fascinating villain. Sadly Angelica didn't do the same because I loved her fight scene with Sunny. I would have loved to watch her fight alongside of the Widow and perhaps see how the Widow runs things differently than Quinn. Here's hoping we see more of baron life, especially since this episode opened up the possibility of meeting another baron. Their feudal system is fascinating and I wonder how this one will be unique, since the Widow and Quinn are vastly different except in the power-hungry and deadly ways. I do wonder about why all these baronies are so close geographically though. You'd think that having space between them would make for a better defense system. Also, the need to tone MK down a lot because I generally want to Gibbs' smack him through the screen.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - it's about to be all the barons against Quinn, which should provide much action
Best Scene - Lydia tells Jade what's what
Best Action - baron vs. baron (aka Quinn vs. the Widow)
Best Character / Best Adversary - Angelica, who actually manages to cut Sunny enough to need stitches
Best Moment / Best Schooling - MK is a brat so Sunny pushes him off the wall
Best Choice - leaving the Widow to make chaos another day
Biggest Ouch - Lydia tells Ryder that he's not fit to be baron
Biggest Mistake - Widow should have killed off Quinn when she had the chance, even with Sunny coming in
Biggest Brat - MK, still. I find myself hoping that he dies and Tilda becomes Sunny's new plan to get out of the badlands.
The "I Agree" Award - Sunny says that he should have let Ryder die
Worst Medical Procedure - trepanation sounds as awful as it looks

Best Quotes -
1. Baron: "No one goes after my family." Widow: "We both know I was doing you a favor."
2. Ringo: "You quit clipping?" Sunny: "I quit keeping score."
3. MK: "Alright, alright, enough." Waldo: "Oh good. I'm getting kind of tired of kicking your a**."
4. Lydia: "So a word of advice from one wife to another. A baron's home isn't a sanctuary. It's a battlefield. Quinn isn't interested in peace. He never was. He loves to fight. Now if you would do me the courtesy of leaving so I can be with my son in private."
5. Quinn: "Intelligence is an intoxicating quality in a woman." Veil: "Please just tell me what you want." Quinn: "It's very simple. You saved my son. Now save me."
6. Lydia: "I'd rather have you hate me for the rest of your life than stand over your grave. You're on your own, Ryder."

iZombie - 2.08 - The Hurt Stalker

In all honesty, I was good with Liv's stalker brain which lead her to do things the normal Liv never would. Right up until the point that it turned into yet another freaking love triangle. Gilda is obviously crazy and has her own stalker tendencies. I wonder if that's another fun side effect of Super Max. I predict the finale will be Gilda crazy vs. Liv zombie. Now if only we don't spend the next few episodes with jealous Liv or emotional fallout from this episode. Can't we just chalk it up to Bad Brain Disease and move to the real reveal of the missing zombies. In some ways it feels like that more interesting plot has stalled.

Grade: C (because of the ending)

Best Reason to Watch - Liv going fun crazy stalker
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Liv going irksome crazy stalker (or everything after the murderer is caught)
Best Moment / Biggest Laugh - Cavanaugh pops out as the suspect is about to flee to Karma Chameleon
Best Bargaining - Ravi to get Liv's job back
Biggest Face Palm - Liv breaking into the police captain's vehicle
Most Likely to Kill Everyone - whatever they are putting in the new Max Rager drink
Most Likely to Spin Off Tons of Fan Fiction - Liv in jail
Weirdest Tradition - putting locks on a bridge
Best Music - Karma Chameleon
The "Because That Doesn't Look At All Suspicious" Award - wearing a head lamp outside, not near a cave
The "Welcome Back" Award - Natalie Brown from The Strain

Best Quotes -
1. Gilda: "They're like drummers for Spinal Tap."
2. Ravi: "So Fatal Attraction brain. That's gonna be fun."
3. Gilda: "Maybe, or maybe she just gets hungry one night and decides to eat you." Vaughn: "Oh, as I know you've already redecorated my office in your mind, you can only hope."
4. Vaughn: "I've got the brains. We've both got the looks. Let's make lots of money."

The Librarians - 2.06 - And the Infernal Contract

This was one of my favorite episodes of the season so far. I like how they all worked together as a team and I am a big fan of Jenkins doing fieldwork. This one was especially apt because of his immortal status. More than just the basic plot though, I like how it brought up the fact that temptation is actually the librarians' biggest foe. Prospero may be on the loose (and we really do need to be getting back to that) but magic and ego is all around them every day. This episode made a great parallel between Baird and Jenkins, being that he is the incorruptible knight and she was the only non-immortal that didn't seem to be the least bit tempted by the power of the contract. I love the idea that Baird is her own version of a knight from long ago and that she is the true protector of souls. It gives her job more purpose. While I do like other crossroad deal stories better, this was a great take on an old story and felt more like season 1 than anything else so far.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Jenkins
Best Scene / Best Plan - Baird makes the demon human to void the contract and saves the day
Best Character - Demon
Best Return - Jenkins to field work
Best Non-Word - mathemagics
Best Pep Talk - Jenkins tells Baird what her true job is
Best Reference - Robert Johnson
Least Surprising - Baird's friend betrays them
Most Likely to Blow Their Cover - Jake grousing about being the chauffeur
Most Excited - Jake about the chupacabra
Most Annoying - Not the air quotes actually but Cassandra slapping Ezekiel from the wrist over and over again like an elementary school kid. She needs to learn how to deliver a punch.
Most Versatile - the tile de-grouter / Druid spell unblocker
The "Welcome Back" Award - John de Lancie, aka Q from Star Trek among many other roles

Best Quotes -

1. Jake: "Get ready for chupacabra jerky." Cassandra: "Ewww, you're cooking it?" Jake: "No, he's making it. The chupacabra, he's awesome."
2. Jake: "You know what the upper crust is? A bunch of crumbs held together by dough."
3. Baird: "I fought a tentacle monster. It's a weird gig."
4. Jenkins: "You know almost every demon works via a contract, something you desire in exchange for your soul." Jake: "Kind of like Robert Johnson down at the crossroads." Jenkins: "Very good, sir. Yes, one of the better known examples. Also including lottery winners, folks who hate the Cubs, the moon landing farce…" Cassandra: "Wait. The moon landing wasn't real?" Jenkins: "Oh no, not that one."
5. Cassandra: "Everything's gonna be alright. We're just gonna have some really psychedelic dreams before we stop breathing forever."
6. Baird: "Now you can tell lies that aren't lies? Wow, you really are a politician."

Quantico - 1.09 - Guilty

Quantico is getting better and better the closer it comes to fully revealing the terrorist. Not sure I am a fan of unhinged Simon, simply because it will be a letdown if he's the real killer. He's been the frontrunner for too long for that to be any kind of a twist. Not that I want Shelby to be the terrorist either. In fact, I don't know who I want it to be because all of the characters have become nicely layered, which is a hallmark of good writing. This episode was better than usual, generally because most of the training story members are now on board Team Alex in the present too. Sure, one of them is bound to betray her completely but I like that Liam and Natalie are helping to clear Alex's name too. I'm not so fond of the Booth jealousy angle and I'm really no fan of watching torture, but overall this was one of the better episodes and a highlight of the week.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - the continued twists and answers
Best Scene - the team convinces Liam that Alex is not guilty
Best Back Story - Natalie talks about her daughter
Biggest Hmmm - not sure if Simon is the terrorist or the biggest red herring because they have to have something massive planned for the midseason finale
Most Smart Move - Simon, who realizes the forensic pathologist tampered with evidence to convict a serial killer
Most Compassionate - Alex, who spends her free time trying to save a drowning Liam
Most Surprising - All of the recruits are against Simon, which seems like overkill. You'd think at least a couple would see his side of things.
Most Brutal - the interrogation which mostly consists of torturing Booth
Most Interesting Twist - Liam asks Alex to plead guilty to all charges in order to catch the real terrorist and she does
Strangest Sub-Plot - Who stabbed Miranda and why?
Best Song - Bye Bye Blackbird
The "Say What?" Award - Why is Caleb's father investigating Shelby and how does that lead to them sleeping together?
The "Welcome Back" Award - Oded Fehr from Covert Affairs, Stitchers, and the Mummy movies / Anne Heche from Dig

Best Quotes -
1. Natalie: "Sir, with respect, when the people you trust most are all on one side and you're the only one on the other, what does that make you?"
2. Clayton: "You have a green light to use whatever means necessary with her." Caleb: "Oh you hear that. That's the sound of a Senate Sub-Committee sharpening its knives for you, dad." Clayton: "I hear a terrorist frying for treason and murder."
3. Caleb: "I think you've had enough." Nimah: "Yeah, of you. I agree."
4. Alex: "I did this way too many times with my father but I'll only do it once for you."
5. Booth: "Do not. Do not make me the bad guy here." Alex: "Then do not be the bad guy."

Catch-Up and Other Shows

The Blacklist - 3.08 - Kings of the Highway

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - things are coming to a head and quickly now
Best Scene - Ressler arrests Keen
Best Moment - Dembe protects Liz and gets arrested himself
Best Action - the guys chasing Karikar via motorcycles
Best Back Story - Ressler's dad
Biggest Question - What's is the box?
Least Surprising - Hitchin is evil
Most in Need of a Good Therapist and About 20 Years in a Psych Ward - Jilly
Most Unnecessary Subplot - Harold's wife's affair
Weirdest Last Words - Tommy Markin, but it does tie in nicely with Ressler
Worst Medical Procedure - taking out a tracking chip in the chest with a can lid
Worst Position to be In - Aram, who's always shafted because people continue to ask him to keep secrets
The "Welcome Back" Award - Marcus Hester from Star-Crossed
Best Quotes -
1. Ressler: "My father died for his principles. If I compromise mine, it will be as if he died for nothing."
2. Red: "See, this is why I don't go to family reunions. Aunt Lucile is always arguing with Buddy, Uncle Scott is drunk by noon, and someone's hand is always in the wrong cookie jar."
3. Red: "As a matter of fact Pablo, our operations are remarkably similar, albeit mine functions on a somewhat grander scale. Certainly more hygienic. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to the same basic principle. We steal from others but not from each other."
4. Liz: "Samar, I know what a difficult position I'm putting you in." Samar: "I don't think you do."
5. Red: "You are aware you need to clean and oil these from time to time, right?"

Fresh Off the Boat - 2.07 - The Big 1-2
Grade: B
~Decent episode that shows Eddie being grateful for what he has and Jessica loosening the reigns a little. Two things that are way overdue.
Best Separation Anxiety - Jessica with Eddie having a sleepover at Dave's
Biggest Say What? - Jessica and Louis are excited about finally getting to work on a Saturday / Emery and Evan are excited about being grounded
Most Obnoxious - Dave
Worst Surprise - Mitch is invited to Eddie's party instead of his parents
Best Song - "Let the Boys be Boys"
Best Quotes -
1. Jessica: "I don't understand. You only have one self. I am always myself. It doesn't matter where I am."
2. Eddie: "Wait. Aren't we going to spoil our dinner?" Dave: "Dude, this is our dinner." Eddie: "I love the way you live."
3. Eddie: "Yes, presents. Cash only but I will accept gold." Jessica: "Respect."
4. Emery: "Why didn’t you tell us there's no party?" Jessica: "Because we're your parents. We don't have to tell you things. You have to tell us things. Plus I forgot."

Fresh Off the Boat - 2.08 - Huangsgiving
Grade: C+
~Not as funny as normal with more annoying characters.
Best Quotes -
1. Jessica: "I may seem calm but it's a calm anger, which is a much scarier type of anger."
2. Jessica: "Who pets a deer? What is she? Snow White?"
3. Connie: "He's just so annoying, you know." Jessica: "I know. We all know." Connie: "I just want to punch his face." Jessica: "I know…and those whale shorts." Connie: "I bought him those shorts." Jessica: "…are appropriate for a man his age. I also know that he loves you and Justin very much."
4. Eddie: "I promise not to bump into stuff." Louis: "Well that's a nice thought but let's not make any promises we can't keep."
5. Justin: "Grunge is dead." Eddie: "It's like chasing the wind."

Fresh Off the Boat - 2.09 - We Done Son
Grade: B-
~I like that this episode focused on Jessica and Honey's friendship. I like even more that Honey didn't let Jessica push her around. It shows nice growth. The rest was just filler to me.
Biggest Say What? - Jessica, tightwad Jessica, paid $500 for a fortune teller? Say what?
The "Good for You" Award - Honey tells Jessica to buzz off
The "Welcome Back" Award - John Ross Bowie, aka Barry on TBBT
Best Quotes -
1. Honey: "But you hate this stuff. You think it's a waste of money." Jessica: "I do but you don't and we're partners. I'm sorry, Honey."
2. Eddie: "I'm trying to impress my woman, not depress my woman."

The Goldbergs - 3.07 - Lucky
Grade: B-
~Loved Beverly and Erica; hated Barry as a brat that gets his way. Everything else was a wash.
Worst Plan - giving into Barry
Best Music - We Belong to the Night
Biggest Brat - Barry
Best Quotes -
1. Beverly: "Your pajama parties are the only reminder I have of when you were happy, tiny girls and not godforsaken teenage monsters."
2. Murray: "She's family. You can't return family. Believe me, I've checked."
3. Erica: "I told her I could live my life without her." Laney: "You're in jail. You clearly can't."
4. Murray: "Look I've got enough ungrateful kids around here to take care of. The last thing I need is an ungrateful animal to take care of."
5. Erica: "Even though I'm grown up and I don't need you…I still do. I always will. After everything I did, you still bailed me out, so I thought I'd finally give you the pajama party that you deserve."

The Goldbergs - 3.08 - In Conclusion, Thanksgiving
Grade: B+
~The heart was piled high on this one, so much so that I forgot how annoying Marvin can be and just breathed in the great parts.
Best Scene - Murray's dad says that he's a good father to his kids
The "Wait a Minute" Award - We've already met Murray's dad and he didn't look like Judd Hirsch. He looked like Paul Sorvino.
Biggest Brat - Adam
Most Inspiring - Erica's speech
Best Speech - Barry's pilgrim pyrotechnics
The "Welcome Back" Award - Judd Hirsh from Forever and Numb3rs
Best Quotes -
1. Pop-Pop: "Well I've watched you with your kids. You're…um, not like me. You're a good father to them. Even to the weird one." Murray: "I don't know which one that is but thank you."
2. Pops: "Normally this holiday makes me think of the love of my life, my wife Irene. But as I look around this table tonight, I realize we shouldn't dwell on the loves we've lost 'cause there's more than enough love right here."
3. Beverly: "Tell me what you've done to him or I'll make you go outside and play catch with your dad on the lawn in front of the entire neighborhood."
4. Murray: "Since when am I your producer." Adam: "Since you paid for the lens. I couldn't have done it without you, any of it."
5. Murray: "Wow that song made me realize how precious our time is." Erica: "So I can go on the ski trip." Murray: "No, I want you by my side all weekend." Erica: "This really backfired on me, huh?"

Grandfathered - 1.09 - Jimmy & Sons
Grade: D+
Status - dropped to marathon
~ I find Gerald obnoxious and a deal breaker so this show is now at marathon later status. I did enjoy Vanessa here and her speech to Sara was well-played. I also like that Ravi stood up for his way of doing things. Other than that, there's not much to cheer about in this episode.
Best Reason to Watch - surprisingly it's Vanessa and her empowerment speech
Best Character Interaction - Vanessa and Sara
Biggest Aww Moment - Gerald and Jimmy hug
Worst Business Choice Ever - putting Gerald in a position that requires him to converse with real live people
Most Embarrassing - overhearing parent sex
The "I'm with You" Award - Jimmy is 100% right. A job is a job and sometimes it doesn't make you happy. That's not a job's requirement. Entitlement is out of control these days.
Best Quotes -
1. Jimmy: "The apple didn't just fall far from the tree. It fell far, rolled down the hill onto a freeway, and got hit by a truck full of nerds."
2. Vanessa: "Sara, you are an intelligent, strong woman. You put yourself through night school so you can become a successful professional. You have earned the right to feel sexy in this body. Now flip the clasp and show me those knockers."
3. Sara: "You're gonna get one, baby, and then you and some guy at the NSA are going to be quite happy."
4. Vanessa: "Don't worry. Mama's here. Let me see what you've got." Sara: "This is what my life has come to. Showing my breasts to my granddaughter's mother to impress my boyfriend." Vanessa: "I meant let me see the photo."
5. Jimmy: "If someone sends me a nude picture, I send one back. It's called manners."
6. Gerald: "It's for Boeing." Jimmy: "More like boring."

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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