Monday, January 25, 2016

Last Week in TV - Week of Jan, 17 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome back to Last Week in TV. It's a full network schedule for me with the CW coming back and Agent Carter's second season debut. Some of the returns were better than others. Still over all it was a positive TV week for me. How was yours? The nominated episode this time was Friday Night Lights' "The Son" and it had me tearing up with its excellent acting and angsty topic. Next week will be Outlander. I have seen the first half of season 1 but after hearing how…um, intense the second half was I never caught up. This will be a good taste of whether I should add the show back into my summer marathon list. If you would like to nominate an episode, please fill out the short 2-question form below. Nominated episodes are picked by a random number generator. So until then, tell us your TV awards from last week and what you agree and disagree on and as always, happy TV viewing.

Nominated Episode

Friday Night Lights - 4.05 - The Son

Wow! That was a powerful, powerful episode full of angst and heart and impressive acting. Zach Gilford plays a young man whose military father dies in combat, forcing him to confront his feelings over a man who was barely in his life. In what must have been a harrowing episode to shoot, Gilford shows the hypocrisy of funerals, hatred for absentee fathers, pain at losing a father no matter how distant, and even pride for the sacrifice his father made even if he was one of those sacrifices. It's a lot of emotion to process in 42 minutes and Gilford sells every part of it. I barely even know this character and he still had me sniffling, especially his breakdown over dinner at the Taylor's. It was hard to see that pain on the face of a kid just trying to make it in the world. Matt has had a hard life already but it seems like he's made it through with a fairly good attitude and to watch him break once again was hard on my heart. As for the other characters, I didn't really know many of them since I've only seen season 1 of Friday Night Lights and that was half a decade ago. I remember Tim and Matt from then and of course the Taylor adults but not much else. In fact I might be confusing part of it with Varsity Blues. Wasn't one of these kids seriously injured in the pilot? I liked the new kid, Vince, and feel sorry for him too but I think Friday Night Lights is a show best watched in order. I was largely confused about most scenes and I feel there's some tension between Taylor and Matt that I didn't notice before. Perhaps it's because Matt seems to be dating his daughter. Other than that, I have zero idea why all these best young football players in the state are still doing in Nowhere, Texas. Shouldn't they being playing college ball someplace right now?

Grade: A (for acting) / B+ (For the episode mostly because I don't know the back story about the characters enough to really connect to their pain, except for Matt. You'd have to be dead not to feel for Matt.) /
Audience - for this one, anyone who likes to cry in TV and watch a young man show some powerful acting / for season 1, anyone who likes small-town drama with a family center

Best Reason to Watch - Zach Gilford, who portrays Matt beautifully
Best Scene - the Taylor family dinner where Matt breaks down
Best Awww Moment - Eric holds his daughter while she cries and reassures her
Best Acting - Zach Gilford, who nailed the part of a grieving and angry son
Best Negotiator - Tammy makes sure Matt does not get ripped off by the funeral home
Best Reaction - Matt shuts the door in the boosters' faces
Best Surprise - they actually pray after the game
Best T-Shirt - Draft beer, not people
Worst Idea in the History of Forever - Tim suggests they go to the funeral home to open the casket
Biggest Heartbreak - Matt in the funeral home / Matt at the table
Biggest Huh? - Does Matt not have a mother? Why is Tammy picking out his dad's casket with him? I'm so confused but I feel sorry for this kid.
Biggest Douches - Luke's so-called friends
Most Powerful Scene - Matt fills in the dirt on his dad's coffin
Most Bizarre - the names that pop up on the credits aren't the people on the screen at that time
Most Mature - Matt gives a fantastic eulogy even though he couldn't stand the man
Shortest Speech Ever - Vince
The "Poor Baby" Award - Matt
The "Life Sucks" Award - Vince has to be the adult in his family
The "Come On, Man" Award - Coach Taylor, you're an educator. Give that kid a hug. He desperately needs a hug and some words of comfort. Man up.
The "What the Heck?" Award - So the kid plays high school football. You check his id. It says he's old enough to buy beer. You sell him beer. Something doesn't add up here at all.
The "Welcome Back???" Award - Michael B. Jordan from Creed / Aimee Teegarden from Star-Crossed / Dora Madison from Star-Crossed / Alicia Witt from The Librarians and Justified / Minka Kelly from Almost Human

Best Quotes -
1. Matt: "I don't like being rude. I think I'm just having a moment here. Um, I just…I'm just having a moment. I don't think I'm okay. I hated him and I don't like hating people, but I just put all my hate on him so that I don't have to hate anybody else. So that I can be a good person. You know to my grandma, to my friends, to your daughter. That's all I want to say. I just want to tell him to his face that I hate him but he doesn't even have a face."
2. Cheryl: "I really don't care if you are hauling pieces of Jesus' cross back to Bethlehem. You promised her you were going to be here and you are going to be here."
3. Matt: "I've got to get up there in front of everybody and say good stuff about this man and all I really want to say is, 'Here lies Henry Saracen. His mother annoyed him, his wife couldn't stand him, and he didn't want to be a daddy so he took off to be in the Army because that was the only way you could come up with to get out of here and ditch all your responsibilities and no one could call you out on it. And that worked out great so you just decided to enlist 4 more times and that ended up getting you killed. And now here you are and all you got left, all you left behind is a mother with dementia, a divorced wife, and a son…who delivers pizza. Thank you for coming 100 people I do not know.' And you know what the worst part is? Even if I did get up there and say that, even if I finally did like say all that to him, I don't even know if I'd be saying it to him because I don't even know if he's in that damn box. It's a closed casket. For all I know it's someone else. It's someone funny or a bunch of rocks. I don't even…"
4. Landry: "Are you really reminiscing about 3 years ago?"
5. Car Thief: "You see a new car. Think it's sharp. Think it's fly. You need to walk away." Vince: "Walk away? Why?" Newbie Thief: "Oh it's cause they've got that low jack, man." Car Thief: "Man, we in west Texas. Ain't nobody got no low jack."

Episode of the Week

Teen Wolf - 5.13 - Codominance

Have I said how much I love this season? I have? Well I do. This episode is no exception and the reason is still the bromance. I adore how Scott and Stiles each made their confessions to each other. Stiles telling Scott about Psycho was exactly what I wished for last episode. I am a little sorry that it was cut so short and it did not go as deeply as I wanted but it was great to hear Scott tell Stiles that he understands self-defense is different than murder. It was important for Stiles to hear that from his best friend and now I hope that Scott can help Stiles deal with the aftermath. Equally as powerful was Scott telling Stiles that he wished he had been the one to take a life. Scott has always been very empathetic so this sentiment is perfectly in character but it also showed that Scott is not as naïve as he's previously been portrayed. He knew this day was coming. Another plus to this episode was how kick butt Kira was. It was great to see Mama Fox and her again, especially when she took out the Oni. Malia rocked the episode as well giving the best vicarious thrills when she punched Theo over and over again. Someone needs to make a video of all the times Theo and Liam have been punched so I can play it on loop during frustrating days.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - more bromance time
Best Scene - tie - Stiles tells Scott about what happened with Psycho / Scott tells Stiles that it should have been him
Best Character Interaction - Scott and Stiles
Best Entrance (possibly in the whole show) - Scott jumps out of the Jeep and rolls into battle growling
Best Reaction - Stiles' look when the Jeep actually starts running
Best Way to Shut Theo Up - La Bete entrance
Best Call Back to an Earlier Season - the initials on the library shelves
Best Parenting Move - Mama Fox when she told the walkers they could take Kira over her cold, dead body
Best Visual Shot - Kira walking down the hill to her mother with the Oni mask in her hand
Worst Impression of a Dead Character - Lydia walking around barefoot like some Kali wannabe
Least Unaware - hey, at least one teacher realizes that Scott, Stiles, and Lydia are all gone on the same day
Most Smug - Theo, smirking at an irate Liam
Most Kick Butt - Kira
Most Done with All of It / Most Cathartic - Malia taking down Theo, punching him over and over again
Most Consistent Tell - Stiles starts tapping his fingers when he's nervous
Most Unfair - whenever Kira slices the Oni, she's the one that gets the wound and the pain
Most Smooth - Mason drags a girl to his spot so he can partner with Screamer
Most Confusing Qualifiers - So Mason won't date Screamer but he's perfectly fine snogging in the locker room with him? Okay then.
Most Cheesy - still the CGI beast
Most Noble - Scott might break into the pumps but they still pay for the gas
Biggest Fount of Non-Information - Liam, sharing all the news we already know
Biggest Cheaters - the skinwalkers who change the rules after Kira defeats the Oni
The "Are You Sure This is Teen Wolf?" Award - there are no phone product placements and I could see almost every single scene clearly
The "Still Available as a Teacher Consultant" Award - Theo would never need to inform the teacher that Lydia was out for medical issues because the teacher would have been informed as soon as she started being absent
The "This is NOT The Shannara Chronicles" Award - no need to show naked female butts here
The "Poor Baby" Award - Mr. Quinn, who was the next in line for teacher decapitation day
The "Please Shut Up" Award - Stiles, Scott finally has his priorities straight. Please don't encourage the B squad again.
Best Music - God Don't Follow Me by Adam Road

Best Quotes -
1. Scott: "I don't know why I believed him. I don't know why we didn't just keep talking that night. Five more minutes and we would have figured out that there were two different stories. We would have filled in all the blanks. We should have just kept talking." Stiles: "He knew we wouldn't." Scott: "I didn't want it to happen like this." Stiles: "Like what?" Scott: "I knew sooner or later one of us was going to get a little too much blood on our hands. I half-thought that it was going to be Malia." Stiles: "Well she definitely seems like she's working on it." Scott: "I just always thought that if it were to happen, it should be me. I'm the one who's constantly putting you guys in danger, risking your lives for people you don't even know. It should have been me."
2. Stiles: "There was a pin. There was one little, metal pin attached to the scaffolding. He…he was trying to pull me down." Scott: "He was trying to kill you." Stiles: "Yeah, so then I pulled the pin. You know and all these metal braces came down and one of them just went right through him." Scott: "Why didn't you think you could tell me?" Stiles: "It was just the way you were looking at me that night. You know you were just…you were standing there with the wrench in your hand. You were looking at me like I'd just bashed you in the head with it. You know like I'd broken your sacred rule and…that's it. There's no going back." Scott: "I know the difference." Stiles: "What?" Scott: "I know what self-defense is."
3. Scott: "What's happening?" Stiles: "Um, yeah we're out of gas. That's out of gas." Scott: "It says we have half a tank." Stiles: "Yeah, not necessarily." Scott: "You didn't fix the gas gauge did you." Stiles: "Not necessarily."
4. Kira: "All the myths about skinwalkers say they're evil." Mama Fox: "They say the same thing about kitsune."
5. Walker: "She stays with us." MamaFox: "I'm kitsune. I've 900 years. You want her, you'll have to go through me."
6. Liam: "I'll come with you." Scott: You can't." Liam: "Let me help. Let me do something. Just tell me what I can do." Scott: "Don't do anything."
7. Mason: "There are definitely bad guys. Some of the bad guys are called dread doctors. You don't get a name like dread doctors and not get classified as the bad guys."

Guest Reviews

Criminal Minds – 11.12 – Drive
BY Emma

After the intense conclusion to the Dirty Dozen story line this week, I expected a slower episode that focused on a normal case of the week, and that’s what “Drive” delivered. Growing up, if we didn’t have a car then we had to walk, take a bus or call a taxi. Today, we have ride sharing services that are so convenient, we sometimes forget that we are essentially doing the very thing our mother’s warned us not to do since we were old enough to walk – never get into a car with a stranger. We have a couple ride share programs that are popular in my neighborhood and even before seeing an episode about a guy with a guillotine playing judge, jury and executioner with his passengers, I would never use the service. Why? Because perhaps the person who was picking me up was a guy with a twisted idea of justice and a guillotine (yes, it was my mother’s voice in my head when I typed that). I have found that some of my favorite case of the week episodes of Criminal Minds are the ones that make me think twice about the things I do every day where I take my safety for granted. By that measure, this is one of the best episodes this season…well, that and Lewis’ and Rossi’s awesome cars!

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch – guillotine, of course
Best Scene – Rossi fanboys over Lewis’ car
Best Character Interaction – Lewis and Rossi
Best Taste in Music – Lewis
The “Truthdom” Award – James, the UnSub, points out that there is no such thing as a cone of silence and everyone who has ever been annoyed by secret spilling conversations in the middle of a crowded hallway rejoiced.

Best Quotes -
1. Garcia: “I’m on it but I feel icky already.”
2. Garcia: “Do you know there’s a sword from Asia called a katana and it can slice a person in half. Who would need that?”
3. James (UnSub): “You talk on our phone and you think you’re in some kind of private little bubble but you are not.”

Heroes: Reborn - 1.13 - Project Reborn
BY Laura Markus

Ugh. What a mess. Honestly, the first 5 minutes or so were great. After the potential they had going from the ending of last week's episode, there were only a few ways this could go wrong. But they managed to do one wrong thing after another, and it spiraled out of control for me. Not only were the only remaining couples heterosexual (which annoys me to no end), but they completely and utterly wasted my favourite character. Yes, I know there were two solar flares and someone had to stop the first one but they did not hype that the first flare was going to do serious damage, only the second one. So why did Luke's "big moment" consist of him flying into the sky like nothing happened? Why wasn't he the twins' conduit? Why did they drag Noah into this? It really doesn't make sense; in my mind he's not dead. Quentin ending up in prison after everything that happened was horrible. Luke and Quentin have these amazing arcs where they turn from the dark to the light, and this is what they get for it. And I guess Matt Parkman died in that car crash last episode. God, they completely ruined Matt in Reborn, except for his first on-screen appearance. I don't even care about Carlos/Farah, Nathan/Emily, or Ren/the real Miko. I really don't. I'm disappointed. I was someone who completely stood by this season, even when there were nay-sayers, but this finale was not satisfying to me.

Grade: D+

Best Reason to Watch - It was the ending of this reboot. However, it was not satisfying and I don't want to include it in the Heroes canon.
The "You Deserved Better" Award - Noah, Quentin, Luke, Matt - just about everyone deserves this.
Best Scene - Quentin mercy killing Phoebe in order to protect Malina.
The "Finally!" Award - Hachiro finally killed that guy working for Erica.
Saddest Scene - Noah being the conduit. I do think it should've been Luke, but it was still a sad moment.
The "Oh, Cr**!" Award - Who gave Nathan and Malina those tarot cards at the end? Who was in that trench coat? Tim Kring, leaving us with a cliffhanger once more.
Funniest Moment - Luke, saying, "You can't block a glock."
The "Most Meaningless Death" Award - Luke Collins. My favorite character, destroyed.

New Shows

Angie Tribeca - season 1 (episodes 1.01-1.10)

In an interesting move, TBS released all of season 1 at the same time but will be making season 2 weekly viewing. Thus the review en masse. Angie Tribeca is a spoof of your typical crime procedural. Basically the only trope they didn't cover was running in heels because Angie wouldn't be caught dead in those. If you've made fun of it in a crime procedure, so do they. My favorite is when Angie tells Geils that she's fallen in love with all 236 of her partners and Geils tells her that it is perfectly normal. Ha! It sure feels like it in today's procedural landscape. The dialogue is fairly sharp throughout the series and the guest stars are phenomenal. You never know when someone big like Bill Murray is going to show up. They biggest problem with the series is its tendency to outplay a joke. What's funny the first 3 times is deadly dull 25 seconds later. Also in typical farce style, the characters are completely over the top, which will appeal to some and not to others. For me it got to be too much. Don't get me wrong. The writing, acting, and directing is well done. It's just not my type of humor. I highly recommend people watch the first 3 episodes and judge it for themselves. It may be the surprise comedy hit of the season.

Grade: B-
Ranking - 2
Audience - those who love Naked Gun-type shows or who enjoy picking TV tropes apart

Best Reason to Watch - makes fun of any crime procedural trope you could think of / the dialogue
MVP - all the guest stars
Best Spoof - the coroner waxes poetic over the magnifying glass like it's one of those shining toys CSI was always spouting on about and then he uses a claw machine to the background music one usually hears during those montages
Best Montage - the board game interrogation
Best Plan - stop the suspect by putting her in the middle of a bouquet fight
Best Reference - Shawshank Redemption / Ghost
Best Reaction - Tanner to the paintings doing a Harry Potter and moving
Worst Running Gag - the vomiting police officer
Worst Pun - thumb drive
Worst Reference - Call Me Maybe
Worst Episode - Commissioner Bigfish
Biggest Laugh (possibly because it was 2 am) - quinceanera destruction
Biggest Oversharer - Angie, who tells all kinds of things about her life to her partner who doesn't care
Biggest Spoiler - the second episode's name is The Wedding Planner Did It / the third episode title is even more specific about who did it
Most Punny - Scholls
Most Impressive Morning Routine - Angie takes working out to a whole new apartment-wrecking level
Most Acrobatic - Geils, who literally (as in pommel horse) does gymnastics during his chase of the suspect
Strangest Product Placement - they actually put the Ford logo and web site under the car as it drives by and it just pops up randomly afterwards / then it's Snickers turn
The "Welcome Back" Award - Bill Murray from everything / Lisa Kudrow from friends / Jere Burns from Burn Notice / Hayes MacArthur from Go On / Gary Cole from Office Space and 52% of animated fare / James Franco from Spiderman, 127 Hours, and dumb comedies / Sarah Chalke from Scrubs / Alfred Molina from Spider-Man 2 / Keegan-Michael Key from Playing House/ Ryan Hansen from Veronica Mars and Bad Judge
Best Music - By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Best Quotes -
1. Angie: "I've had 236 partners and I've fallen in love with every single one of them." Geils: "That's so normal."
2. Manhattan: "Believe me, I would have killed him but they don't let people in coach kill people in first class." Angie: "That's true. That's a rule."
3. Daisy: "I can't believe I spent a whole montage with you."
4. Tanner: "Hidden Valley Country Club. Didn't this used to be a ranch?" Geils: "They moved to Thousand Islands."
5. Everett: "His aesthetic was offensive to me. I wanted to embarrass him." Geils: "Well then why didn't you just bully him on Facebook or Instagram like any decent human being?"
6. Atkins: "Meanwhile the plane's been grounded." Angie: "Why?" Atkins: "Got in late. Didn't do its homework."

Legends of Tomorrow - 1.01 - Pilot

It's never a good thing when you can quote the dialogue of a show without having seen the show before. To say the dialogue is clichéd here would be to understate. However, there are decent bones to this story structure even with the non-logic of time travel. (Seriously folks, go back to ancient Egypt and snuff the guy before he makes a deal with the devil.) The different personalities and skill sets could make for a good team IF they can learn to function as a team. It also helps that many of these characters have been introduced to us before, either in Arrow or The Flash. With this cast of characters, each of which have at least 2 different names, you need to have some background knowledge to keep everyone straight. The story itself is pretty simple. A group of metahumans / superheroes team together to take down the Big Bad, who just happens to be immortal and should have died in the crossover. As with almost all pilots, this one takes too much time putting all the pieces together but as soon as the merry band enters 1975 the pacing picks up noticeably. So does the humor and that will be a key component to this series. If it realizes that at its heart it is ridiculous and plays with that, it may just be a fun ride.

Grade: B-
Ranking - 4
Audience - CW superhero fans who don't think The Flash and Arrow are enough out there with their metahumans and resurrecting everyone

Best Reason to Watch - with this many main characters, you're sure to like at least one of them
Best Scene - the left behind trio go to the bar
Best Action - Sarah
Best Character Interaction - Laurel and Sarah
Best Speech - Jefferson's team speech
Worst Speech - Ray's self-pity
Biggest Hmm - Being immortal does seem to screw with your family tree, but not knowing your own kid is messed up. Take me off the list for reincarnation.
Biggest Question - Why are they searching for Savage in the 70's? They know exactly where he was in Ancient Egypt. Doesn't it make far more sense to take him out BEFORE he gets powerful? Ugh! Time travel hurts my head.
Biggest Surprise - I actually agree with Oliver here. I wouldn't be so trusting either. Just because someone says he's from the future and can travel through time doesn't make it so and it definitely does not make him a good guy.
Biggest Laugh - Snart snark
Biggest Douche - Stein, who drugs his other half into a life that could get him killed
Biggest Problem - Most would say Savage. I disagree. The biggest problem is that none of these people seem to like each other. Who wants to watch a team that just keeps sniping at each other?
Least Surprising - Hunter is in it because of love too, making it a revenge mission
Most Fun - barroom brawl to Captain and Tennille
Most Enthusiastic - Ray, who can't wait to be a hero
Most Likely to Get Answers - Kendra Saunders, who isn't taking anything off of Hunter
The "Yet Another Reason" Award - This entire story is yet another example of why love triangles suck. There wouldn't be a problem if the crazy dude wasn't pining for the princess.
The "I Don't Think So" Award - If this professor really loves this topic so much, there's no way he's letting those books look like they were just unburied from the sand. Even in the 70's they had archiving.
The "Well That's One Way to Make Your Point" Award - nothing establishes a character as evil quite like point blank shooting a kid

Best Quotes -
1. Snart: "We go out for one lousy drink and you guys somehow manage to pick a fight with Boba Fett."
2. Sarah: "If we have the power to change the world, don't you think we have the power to change our own fate?"
3. Rory: "Whatever you roofied him with, I'd like some." Stein: "I did not roofie him." Rory: "Oh I ain't judging."
4. Snart: "Why did we become criminals?" Rory: "Because we hate working and we love money."
5. Ray: "He's a time master from the 22nd century. It's a little hard to Google."

Weekly Shows

The 100 - 3.01 - Wanheda, Part 1

I really, really wanted to love this premiere but since I barely recognize most of the characters and half the epsiode was about ones I have no interest in, it felt pretty meh to me. Then there was ALL the eye candy filler that dragged the largely non-existent plot even further in the mire. Add to it the slow pacing and this really was not The 100's best effort. The premiere felt more like it was focused on style (or as my podcast partner Kristen says, "looking cool") instead of any real substance. In many ways, it felt like the show was concentrating more on the surface of things, avoiding any real depth. By focusing on so many different storylines, we didn't get a feel for any of them, which given the time jump made it still harder to connect to the characters - even ones we already knew much less the new people just plunked onto the screen. Even worse is that they spent the majority of the time in a Jasper/Murphy/Jaha combination, none of whom I need to devote any more time to. Jasper leapt off my last nerve in this episode and now I just want him to die. Does the kid need to ruin every single thing every time they take him out? Urgh! All the rest of the socks went towards him, leaving none left for Chancellor Crazypants himself. How exactly is it possible that Jaha is more nuts now than he was before? That's an even bigger mystery than where this storyline is leading and how it connects, if at all, to the main characters.

While I agree with the time jump for some characters, Clarke at least needed some back story / flashbacks to make her relatable. If we had seen the time jump through her eyes instead of Murphy, I think her part of the story would have been more powerful given the context. Instead the lead of the show goes hunting (which was awesome), visits the trading post, screws someone we've never seen before, and stupidly gets caught. Seriously Clarke, if you are trying to avoid people stop staring at them. You were smarter last season. At this point Clarke was better in every way except hunting in season 2 and you can't have your main character stagnate. Octavia, who was my favorite character last year, suddenly acts like an emoangsty baby. Is she really going to shun Lincoln because the others are starting to accept him? That's like when the nerd character gets a seat at the popular table and all the other nerds start to ignore him because of it. This is not an ABC Family show, so stop acting like it. Either Octavia's reasons need to be made clearer very quickly or they need to drop this drama for drama's sake. Contrived drama does nothing for me.

Still it wasn't all dull. I really enjoyed the relationship growing between Kane and Bellamy. They are two of the few characters that might have grown since last season. I really enjoyed how they both appear to be listening more. Kane obviously trusts Bellamy to lead a hot zone mission and Bellamy seems to be okay taking orders from an adult again. Both make for smarter characters and better teamwork. In fact things in Arkadia as a whole appear to be better run, better organized, and safer. We even got to have a scene that was pure fun, something rare and therefore even more special. Plus, Violent Femmes. I also liked the interaction between Raven and Abby even though it has a little too much heat in it right now. I love that Raven isn't afraid to tell Abby how it is and that Abby won't stop reaching out to Raven. They make a good team and I hope when Clarke inevitably rejoins them, it won't mean the end of quality Abby and Raven scenes. Another plus is the bromance between Lincoln and Bellamy. It's odd that those two are getting along when Lincoln and Octavia are not but I would love to see more of this relationship. I think they complement each other well and it makes sense that Lincoln would be in charge of training others. Indra, as always, was a delight and I like the fact that she and Kane are working together instead of against each other right now. Still the very best part of the episode was the promise of learning about yet another grounder clan. The Ice Nation and their queen sound like they could be just the challenge The 100 needs to get the action back on track. I have every confidence that this show will be even more interesting this season than last. I just wish this premiere had more oomph.

Grade: C

Best Reason to Watch - sets up a conflict with a new grounder nation
Best Scene - Violent Femmes sing-along
Best Character Interaction - Abby and Raven
Best Bromance - Bellamy and Lincoln
Best Reaction - Murphy tries to punch Jaha on meeting again
Best Moment - Abby helps Raven off the horse
Best Instincts - Indra
Best Entrance - Octavia on horseback
Best Speech - Bellamy about the uniform
Best Nostalgia - the raven that Finn made for Raven is hanging from the SUV
Best Scene Change - overlaying Abby and Clarke's faces
Worst Plan - taking Jasper anywhere
Biggest Change - Bellamy is now pals with Lincoln while Octavia is barely speaking to him
Biggest Tease - we only get to see part of the grounder map
Biggest Question - How is Alie on the boat?
Biggest Filler - sex scene / piano playing
Most Useless Moron - still Jasper, who makes every single thing worse at every opportunity
Most Insane - Jaha, who has gotten even more loony than he already was
Most Logical - Lincoln with both Abby and Octavia
Most Cathartic - Mendes punches Jasper
The "It's about Time" Award - Bellamy finally agrees that giving Jasper a gun is a terrible idea. Now if only he realized that 2 seasons ago.
The "Um, No Thank You" Award - I'm sorry trading post worker. If I'm Clarke, I'm not drinking anything anyone gives me either. I'm not trusting anyone.
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Indra / Emori
The "Welcome Back" Award (actor) - Jessica Harmon from iZombie and The Whispers
Best Music - Violent Femmes
Worst Music - Shawn Mendes

Best Quotes -
1. Niylah: "No kill marks." Clarke: "My back's not big enough."
2. Jaha: "No pain, no hate, no envy." Murphy: "No thanks."
3. Lincoln: "There can't be an us or them if we want to survive." Octavia: "You're being naïve. Most people aren't like you, Lincoln." Lincoln: "Kane and Abby aren't like most people. They're trying to forge a lasting peace and so am I." Octavia: "They're using you. Look at that nice grounder in his uniform. They think it proves we can live together." Lincoln: "It does."
4. Kane: "Bellamy, there hasn't been an attack since Mount Weather. That's 3 months. Our people believe that this is real peace. Try not to screw that up?"
5. Murphy: "Okay, you do know she is the one who launched the bombs that ended the world, right?" Jaha: "Wrong. She didn't end the world. She saved it." Murphy: "I'm so out of here."
6. Raven: "Are you here as my chancellor or my doctor because I don't want to talk to one of you." Abby: "I'm here as your friend." Raven: "Good, then shut up and drink."
7. Lincoln: "Hey, listen to me. Trikru is in here, not out there. And nothing can take that away from us." Octavia: "That uniform does."
8. Jaha: "The outside world means nothing. In the City of Light, we're all kings." Murphy: "And here I thought I was the one losing my mind."

Agent Carter - 2.01 / 2.02 - The Lady in the Lake / A View in the Dark

Woo hoo! Agent Carter is back! This is one of the shows that I was really looking forward and the premiere was everything I hoped it would be. First off it started by including one of my favorite characters from last season, Dottie. I adore the fight scene between Carter and Dottie, making up for the paltry first fight they had. Anna Jarvis is a brilliant addition and may become my favorite character in short order. I can see why Jarvis risked everything to keep her safe. Agent Carter really knows how to create memorable and well-rounded characters. I'm not quite as sure about the overall storyline though. Zero matter plays a little too much in the comic book realm for me. Plus all the exposition on it slowed down the second episode, dropping its grade. Still the foundation of Agent Carter is the interaction between Jarvis and Carter, which was as delightful here as it was all of season 1. I could watch an entire hour of just them talking.

Grade: A- / B

Best Reason to Watch - we finally get Carter and Jarvis banter again
Best Scene - Dottie takes down the smug Thompson
Best Character Interaction - Carter and Jarvis
Best Action - now that's the Carter vs. Dottie fight that I was waiting for in season 1
Best Reaction - Jarvis and Carter to the flamingo
Best Twist - Dottie is dressed like Carter was in season 1 premiere
Best Flirt - Sousa
Best New Addition - Mrs. Jarvis
Biggest Understatement - Jarvis in saying that Sousa is losing his composure
Biggest Switch - suddenly everyone is lauding Carter…well except the douchey Thompson
Least Likely to Make Your Point - waving a gun in someone's face while saying you're the good guy makes you seem less than trustworthy
Least Surprising - the cop is crooked
Most Awkward - Sousa when his new girlfriend invites Carter to dinner
The "Pimping 40's Style" Award - Howard Stark's coupe d'amour
The "Welcome Back" Award - Kurtwood Smith from That 70's Show and Resurrection / Ray Wise from Twin Peaks and Fresh Off the Boat / Wynn Everett from Supernatural

Best Quotes -
1. Wilkes: "I'm starting to think I'd make a pretty good secret agent." Carter: "Not your best hypothesis."
2. Jarvis: "Is it broken?" Carter: "You'll live. Keep your head back." Jarvis: "Of course I'll live. I'm worried about the aesthetic. Anna's absolutely mad about my profile."
3. Jarvis: "Except for danger, my middle name is charm."
4. Samberly: "The short answer is I don't know. So's the long answer."
5. Thompson: "It's a real burden being everybody's favorite agent, isn't it?" Carter: "If this is about your insecurity, Chief Thompson, then I suggest you deal with it in your own time."
6. Carter: "Love the hat."
7. Rose: "Daniel, you're a nice guy." Sousa: "Now that's just mean."

Galavant - 2.05 / 2.06 - Giants vs. Dwarves / About Last Knight

Still not loving this season, but it does seem to be on an upswing. Now that Isabella has gotten free from her tainted crown and even more importantly from her teenage emoangsting, I expect she'll be improving rapidly. Madalena and Gareth continue to bring the most fun and this unprovoked war sounds like the spoiler Sid told in the opening song. In fact things looked to be better in the sixth episode but then the writers got amnesia. Seriously that is the only explanation. Did they not remember that we already met Gal's dad? You know that guy that stayed with his mom even when she sounded like the biggest shrew on the planet. That guy who took time out of his day to encourage little Galavant when the other kids were teasing him. That guy who is nothing like how they are portraying him in this episode. I'm not sure I have seen canon explode in song before. Lovely.

Grade: B- / B-

Best Reason to Watch - Isabella's brain drain crown is off and she's ready to kick some butt again
Best Scene - Galavant and Richard make up
Best Peacemaker - Roberta
Best Reference - West Side Story
Best Meta / Most Fun - the Forest of Coincidence, which must be in the Kingdom of Plot Device
Best Song - Giants vs. Dwarves / I was There
Worst Song - My Dragon Pal and Me / Different Kind of Princess
Worst Plan / Most in Need of Shutting Up - Sid's revolution idea
Worst Snack - hobbits
Worst Birthday Presents - scars
Biggest Backfire - Gareth can't get anyone to bar fight with him
Most Bizarre - the Madalena and Gareth partnership and now romance
The "I Don't Think So" Award - Richard said it earlier. No take backs. That includes this Galavant Papa switcharoo. I want my Anthony Head back! Foul on that play.
The "What is This, 16 Candles?" Award - So Isabella can be free for the price of her bra? Okay then.
The "Say What?" Award - Where did all these daddy issues come from? Last year Galavant worshipped his father a bit too much. Now he can't stand him? Flo, the continuity fairy, has moved to another kingdom.
The "Didn't Your Mama Tell You…" Award - …not to play with swords or someone could lose an eye.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Greg Wise from Sense & Sensibility and Horatio Hornblower

Best Quotes -
1. Richard: "Hey there old buddy, you know what I believe in." Galavant: "I think we're gonna pull through." Richard: "Me too." Roberta: "Me three." Madalena & Gareth: "Yes, I believe something might just have started." Sid: "And I believe I'll be joining the dear departed." Isabella: "And I believe I have a wedding planner to see. Better believe it. His a** belongs to me."
2. Galavant: "There's no need for your clunky exposition."
3. Sid: "She will rip your heart out and I don't mean symbolically."
4. Roberta: "Listen people, there's no need to fight. Holy freaking cow, you're the same damn height."
5. Galavant: "Roberta's right. I'm sorry. I've been using some many horrible words to describe you, but I've forgotten the one that describes you best - loyal."

Scorpion - 2.14 - Sun of a Gun

Scorpion is always interesting when they bring family into the mix. Character back story for geniuses seems to pack more of a punch. The same is true for Sylvester here when the case requires him to work with his father, whom he hasn't seen in over 9 years. Stereotypically rocky, the father and son start off rough but when they appear to be in danger, Sylvester's dad says everything Sylvester needs to hear. It's especially touching because of all the character growth Sylvester has had in the past year. He's grown into my favorite character so spending extended time with him is nice. It's also great to see him in the field with the team again since he's been separated from them far too often this season. The story itself was typically farfetched but the pacing moved quickly and it was more about the characters than the plot anyway. Good thing because the whole stealing of the watch made my eyes roll. Walter singing karaoke made me laugh and wince though. As for Happy and Toby…well, I was fine with them hooking up originally but the writers screwed the pooch with that storyline and ended up making both Happy and Toby less interesting characters. Therefore I'm not sure I trust them with round 2.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Sylvester back story
Best Scene - Sylvester and his dad stuck in the bunker
Best Awww Moment - Sylvester's dad apologizes to him and they hug
Best Reaction - Sylvester and his dad to the solar gun actually being real
Best Parenting - Cabe in telling Sylvester's dad how to talk to Sylvester
Best Reference - the episode where the kid was caught in the landslide
Best Twist - Happy knows all Toby's favorite things
Worst Plan - Walter and speed dating
Biggest Laugh - Walter and Paige karaoke
Biggest Facepalm - Sylvester and his dad get stuck in the mortar
Biggest Hmm - I would think that Walter would understand Sylvester's parent problems if nothing else. Also, where is all that character growth Sylvester had in the first half of the season? He seems more like season 1 Sylvester before they take off for the mission.
Least Surprising - Walter doesn't know who Elton John is
Most Charming - the brutal dictator
Coolest Entrance - Happy sliding down the ladder
The "Say What?" Award - How is the mortar guaranteed to keep the dictator from remaking the panels or even freeing them to study?
The "There's an App for That" Award - technology will even allow you to get out of a welded shut bunker
The "Welcome Back" Award - Jeff Fahey from Under the Dome

Best Quotes -

1. Ken: "You're right, Sylvester. I…we never really connected. I wasn't prepared to raise a kid like you. There's no manual on how to raise a genius. If there were I'd have read it a hundred times cover to cover because I loved you from the moment you were born. I just…I just didn't know how to show you."
2. Sylvester: "You said it was 100 x 20." Happy: "Yeah, it's 100 feet by 20 feet." Sylvester: "I thought you meant meters. This country runs on the metric system. Why didn't you convert?" Happy: "I'm American."
3. Paige: "I swear to God if you don't get into this, I'm gonna kill you myself."
4. Walter: "What you just said makes sense." Happy: "Everything I say makes sense."
5. Walter: "What's wrong with you?" Toby: "I caught the cooties watching you and Groupie Grandpa fumble with the ladies."
6. Ken: "Sylvester, I…uh, I'm sorry that your mother and I, we weren't the right family for you but I'm glad to see you found the one that is."

Weekly Episode Awards / Older Episodes

The Flash - 2.10 - Potential Energy
~Better than the midseason finale - less tears - but still not up to where it was earlier.
Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - twists are dropping like flapjacks at Paul Bunyan's place
Best Character Interaction - Barry and Iris / Barry and Joe
Best Advice - Iris tells Barry to not lie to Patty if he's serious about her
Best Switch - Team Flash and Patty all look fabulous dolled up
Best Speech - Patty to Barry about what he wants out of a relationship
Least Surprising - Wally isn't in town for Joe and Iris
Worst Plan Ever - telling your girlfriend you're a superhero while on a crowded dance floor
Biggest Say What? - Why is the Reverse Flash back? Didn't we already end that storyline?
Biggest Oops - Barry sets the bouquet for Patty on fire…well, in his nightmare
Biggest Thumbs Up - Cisco approves Patty for Team Flash
Most Pointless - Turtle's motivation makes the kind of sense that just doesn't
Most Likely to Mumble Their Way Through a Conversation - tie - Barry and Patty
Most Depressing - Patty is leaving right when I started really liking her
Most Likely to Take Advantage of an Opportunity -Caitlin, who takes Jay's DNA from a champagne glass
The "Way to Make it All about You" Award - Caitlin, you douche, a thousand Gibbs' slaps all around to you. Someone else is sick and you chew him out for making you care about him. Take some responsibility for yourself. You're the one who got over your husband in a flash.

Best Quotes -
1. Barry: "Hey, are you good? You seem a little jittery?" Joe: "A little anxious. Let's be honest. I'm really nervous about this whole dinner tonight with Wally." Barry: "Come on. Why…why are you nervous? You're like the best dad ever. He'll see that."
2. Joe: "Come on. Iris will cook." Iris: "Dad, we just met the kid,. We don't want to kill him." Joe: "Alright we do take-out. Chinese, whatever. Come on."
3. Patty: "It's the thought that counts…and you know, proper fire safety management. That counts most."
4. Barry: "Alright, keep your eyes open for the Turtle. A sentence I never thought I would say."
5. Iris: "Yeah, you're not needed." Joe: "I am needed. Somewhere and I'm gonna go there."
6. Turtle: "Is this a trap? I'm slow. Not stupid."
7. Patty: "I was just hoping that maybe you would think I'm good for him so you'd want to help me figure him out." Iris: "Well I mean if you did that you would be the first." Patty: "Wonderful that gives me tons of hope."

The Shannara Chronicles - 1.04 - Changeling
~Much better than the last episode because it feels less teen-oriented but yikes does the love triangle need to end right now.
Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the quest is starting
Best Point - Where in the legend does it say that only Amberle, Wil, and Eretria can go on the quest? If I were Arion, I would be suspicious of this plan too. Plus then we can keep wondering if he's evil or not.
Biggest Laugh - Ellcrys Wil, who looks like a boy band member but talks like a thug
Biggest Hmm - the tree requires Amberle kill for it before allowing her on her quest
Biggest Super Special Snowflake - Amberle
Worst Acid Trip - whatever the Ellcrys blew in Amberle's face
Worst Prize - visions of people's deaths
Worst Plan Yet - Allanon is staying behind from this quest
Worst TV Trope - what's dead does not stay dead
Least Surprising - the shapeshifter uses Wil's form to get close to Amberle
Least Trustworthy - surprisingly it is Amberle, who reneges on her deal with Eretria
The "Well That Came Out of Nowhere" Award - one minute the shapeshifter is talking to Dagda Mor and the next she's sticking a sword through someone's skull
The "Welcome Back" Award - Lorin

Best Quotes -
1. Wil: "That's Druid speak for maybe you should reconsider."
2. Ander: "I don't know about you but I'm feeling great about this plan."
3. Bandon: "Seeing death is no gift."
4. Wil: "The details aren't important." Amberle: "He said that you broke into his room and you struggled but you knocked him out." Eretria: "That's one way to put it. You should know that the struggle was mutual and it lasted about an hour."
5. Arion: "It is hard to compete with the ghost of a brother whose stature increases in your mind with every passing year."
6. Wil: "Is this your usual grave look or should I be worried?"

Supernatural - 11.09 - O Brother, Where Art Thou?
~I am done with Supernatural's take on God. Just done. I'm done with it trying to be too epic and I was done with Lucifer within 1 episode of meeting him. If you're out of ideas, just say so and be done yourself.

Best Reason to Watch - if you were a fan of Lucifer, this is your episode
Best Reaction - Sam to seeing Lucifer
Best Non-Winchester Character of the Episode - Sorry Crowley, but your mama wins this one tonight
Worst Family Meeting - anytime Rowena and Crowley are in the same room
Worst Spin-Off: Touched by Lucifer, which would not be happy endings for all
Biggest Dummies - You see one angel get smited and so you go one at a time after Amara? What an idiot! Obviously one on one is not going to work. Attack amass, dummies.
Biggest Face Palm - Dean, really? Kissing the enemy? Didn't we do this already? Wasn't her name Ruby? Urgh!
Least Surprising - Lucifer wants Sam to be his vessel and sent Sam the visions
Least Grateful - for all that the Winchesters come to Crowley for help, they never give him the credit he deserves
Most Likely to be Screwed - Sam, every season and this time by a burning bush
Most Creepy - Lucifer's little smile at the camera
Most Ominous - Crowley: "It begins."
Most Manipulative - tie - Lucifer and Amara
Easiest Entrance - Remember when going to hell was a big deal in Supernatural. What? Did they install a revolving door? Are they leaving the light on?
The "Hold Your Horses" Award - Why in the world would opening the cage be now or never? It's been there for millennia. They can wait a couple of hours.
The "Back Away Slowly" Award - You are starting to travel in "Taxi Driver" territory, aka blowing up your own canon for no reason. If they just needed a key to get into the Cage, there would be zero reason to set up the eons-old Winchester brother vs. brother saga of season 5. Do you really think that the armies of heaven and the legions of hell could NOT find a book? This is making the kind of sense that doesn't. At all. And if it is easy to get Sam out of the Cage, then I boycott again.
The "Not Him Again" Award - Lucifer is back. Oh joy. One of the most disappointing villains they've had in a decade.

Best Quotes -
1. Sam: "Do I look crazy?" Rowena: "Well you do have unresolved issues with your domineering older brother and the abandonment by your father."
2. Sam: "So what? I just disappear while you take my body and get set loose on the world again?" Lucifer: "I know. I know, Sam. It's a lot to ask. Desperate times require desperate measures." Sam: "That's not desperate. That's certifiable." Lucifer: "Okay, hold on there a second ,cowboy. Take a breath. You have been working with Crowley. You passed certifiable three off ramps ago."
3. Dean: "Whatever the deal is between you two, whoever threw the first punch, whoever was Daddy's favorite…" Amara: "There was no daddy." Dean: "Whatever. That mess is your mess. It's between you two. You're taking people's lives. You're taking their souls."
4. Rowena: "Lay a hand on me and my followers will swoop down on this tin can palace of yours with all the power of the Book of the Damned." Crowley: "Stow it, you lying b**. If you could do that, you'd have done it. If I wanted to kill you, I'd have done that." Rowena: "Not that you haven't tried." Crowley: "You tried to kill me twice." Rowena: "What's that they say? Third time's the charm."
5. Dean: "Listen, are you sure that you're…you're okay with this whole deal?" Sam: "No, not even a little, but what choice do we have, you know?" Dean: "Okay well for the record, I hate it. Just wait for me. Don't do anything until I get there." Sam: "Right now it's just research but you've got it. Nothing without you."
6. Rowena: "I must say, it's not as scenic as I'd expected." Crowley: "We're in the furthest reaches of hell - limbo, where I send unruly souls for timeout." Sam: "This is where I meet with Lucifer?" Crowley: "What it lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in security."

Younger - 2.03 - Like a Boss

Grade: A- for the main story, C for the rest

Best Reason to Watch / Best Character Interaction - Liza and Kelsey
Best Scene - Liza encourages Kelsey to fake like she knows what she's doing
Best Surprise - Josh shows up at the launch party
Best Reaction - Josh to the guy asking for directions to Maggie's place
Best Reference - Bechdel test
MVP - Liza who gives Kelsey's speech to her via Bluetooth
Most Uncomfortable - talking about three ways and anal sex in front of someone's parents / Maggie's party
Most Reasonable - Josh doesn't want to spend hi s time lying to his friends
Biggest What The Heck - Kelsey actually wears that hideous, gigantic paper plate dress to the launch party
Biggest Creeper - Lauren's dad, who needs to get a robe / everyone at Maggie's party
Biggest Hmm - I'm not sure how I feel about Maggie's speech to Josh. They are discounting his needs for Liza's and I'm a big proponent of both sides of a relationship being heard.
The "Learn Something New Each Day" Award - I've never heard about ghosting before. I prefer to just hide from social media all together at times.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Lauren's parents

Best Quotes -
1. Josh: "Babe, you're not a millennial." Liza: "Yeah well Dr. Dre's not a doctor."
2. Liza: "Josh doesn't lie. That's one of the beautiful things about him I'd really like to change."
3. Diana: "Where's the Fit Bit?" Liza: "People think I'm on house arrest. It ups my cool factor." Diana: "Very Martha Stewart. Point me towards the alcohol."
4. Maggie: "We all used to lie and eat gluten and smoke cigarettes and hang up on each other. Remember that?" Eliza: "Yeah, now people just eat kale and tell the truth." Maggie: "A-holes."
5. Diana: "Well it seems like you've got this all covered. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my crypt."

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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