Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Last Week in TV - Week of March 13 - Reviews and Episode Awards





Hello and welcome back to Last Week in TV. It's been another week of marathoning to try to catch up for me. This week it was all about The CW, pilots, and finales. I'm still behind on Supernatural but that's next on the list. I've been mostly disappointed by the latest batch of pilots but that just means less to end up stockpiling later so it's actually a win. How has your TV week gone? I hope with several major shows on hiatus it means you were able to knock something off your to-watch list. As mentioned last week, this week's nominated episode will come from Dominion. I'm using a day off to hopefully marathon season 2 of it so that ought to be fun. I've meant to catch up since last summer. If you have any show you'd like to nominate, please fill out the short 2-question form below. Until then, leave your own episode awards in the comments section and as always, happy TV viewing.






Episode of the Week



Major Crimes - 4.23 - Hindsight, Part 5

And thus concludes one of the better multi-episode cases I've seen in a full season procedural. I enjoyed the twists and all the complex characters introduced. It was one of those times when I got engrossed in the back story of characters we've never met and whom would probably never be heard from again. I especially like how each of the characters were viable suspects so that even the red herrings made sense. It also helped that the guest actors brought their A-game and fleshed out even the smaller roles. I wouldn't mind if we got more closure on the whole, maybe a status update somewhere. For instance, I assume Daniel got immunity beforehand or else he pretty much admitted that he was part of the holdup on tape. Is he going to jail too? Does Mark have info on other cases that could be useful? I don't mind him being a recurring character. Bonus points go for Provenza and Patrice getting married even if I just saw the same plot on Rizzoli & Isles. Since both were equally well done, it didn't even bother me. Still the best wrap up had to be Rusty finally getting closure with Gary. Here's hoping it means the end of his birth mom's intrusion on storylines as well.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - a satisfying conclusion to a fantastic 5-parter
Best Scene - Daniel confronts his brother about the heroin in the church
Best Awww Scene - Provenza's reaction to this marriage
Best Pulling of Strings - Andrea gets the Mayor to do the vows at Provenza and Patrice's wedding
Best Turnabout - Rusty is finally rid of Gary
Best Plan - Julio switched out Steph's gun
Best Continuity - bringing up the case where Provenza met Patrice
Biggest Disappointment - in the end it's all about the love triangle
Biggest Jerk - Rusty to Gus
Biggest Shocker - the preacher is actually reformed and a man of God
The "Poor Baby" Award - Julio, who finally gets interested in someone and she turns out to be a mass murderer. Better luck next season, sir.

Best Quotes -
1. Provenza: "Captain, are we really about to wrap this up because I'm getting married in just a few hours and I'd like to be there when it happens."
2. Gary: "What? You think you know something?" Rusty: "Everyone's about to know something, Gary, and now I'm leaving you just like you left me…in a place full of cages with nowhere to go."
3. Provenza: "Thank you, thank you, thank you." Patrice: "Oh Louie, honey." Mayor: "You're not supposed to start crying until afterward." Provenza: "Well then you better hurry up..."
4. Mayor: "And where's your family?" Patrice: "Well that was always going to be a little bit of a problem because Louie arrested my granddaughter for murder. It's how we met." Mayor: "Oh, well haven't heard that one before."
5. Provenza: "Sorry. I'm so sorry but since I'll never be as beautiful as my bride, I thought I'd better dress up as much as I could so I could be seen with her in public."
6. Mark: "There goes your Girl Scout status with your troop leader, huh?" Amy: "No, the Captain gave Mike a pass for his run in with you which means I get one too because you're so toxic." Mark: "Yeah, I keep hearing that." Amy: "If you want, you can let go of…of all the bitterness now and just walk away from it." Mark: "What a good girl you are. Still believing in the best about everybody..."



Nominated Episode



The Listener - 1.08 - One Way or Another

In many ways, The Listener is cut from the same mold as a dozen other crime procedurals. It has a cop buddied with a non-cop specialist of the opposite gender and I would be dead shocked if the two didn't hook up at some point (providing they both stayed on the show). It also has the requisite twist for a cop show these days. Basically it's the story of a male paramedic with telepathic abilities who helps a female police detective on her cases. Since he can read minds, he is able to key in on details of the crime and knows when suspects are lying. This case of the week was particularly violent though. It's about a serial rapist who targets women in isolated areas and for reasons still unknown, steals their shoes. It's a personal case too because the detective had a chance to put away the rapist but then lost the case on a technicality. Since we also find out that she was raped as a teen, it adds depth to the story. I think this episode would have had a bigger punch if I knew more about the lead characters and if I hadn't just marathoned several procedurals. I also think the psychic link twist is a little bit of plot device cheating. It was interesting to see how it did not give them all the answers though because the attacker wore a mask so the victim didn’t know as much as a regular crime victim might have. Oh and did I mention that the victim is played by Tatiana Maslany - so there's reason right there to check the episode out. She rose well to a challenging part although I was kind of expecting her to be in a few more scenes. I have no idea why since this is her pre-Orphan Black years. It was very interesting to see given that I had not even heard of her before Orphan Black. Another plus is that they approach the idea of telepathy as mental rape right off and don't dismiss either side. In the end, I think people who like Castle, Bones, and other crime procedurals where it is equally about the leads' chemistry as it is about the crime will really enjoy this addition.

Grade: B-
Ranking - 2
Audience - those who like a little supernatural and the inevitable will they-won't they in their crime procedurals

Best Reason to Watch - the case is intense and the telepathy twist makes it more unique if a bit of a cheat
Best Scene - Charlie takes down the rapist and Toby keeps her from murdering him
Best Character Interaction - Oz and the teacher
Best Tag Team - Charlie tells Toby what to say to the rapist telepathically
Best Point - reading people's mind is a violation of their privacy
Best Character - cranky, sarcastic teacher
Biggest Shock - the woman didn't believe she was raped because of what the rapist made her do
Biggest Cheer / Least Likely to Take Anything - the intended victim knows karate and beats up the rapist instead
Least Surprising - the landlord did it
The "Say What?" Award - So the rapist guy is still alive after being shot, right? I mean Toby isn't reading the dead, right?? So he's not going to call 911 for the person bleeding out on the floor? I'm confused.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black / Colm Feore from Revolution

Best Quotes -
1. Teacher: "Look, I'm fine." Oz: "Yeah, you're perfect." Teacher: "I just had to twist my ankle to meet a man who thinks I'm perfect?" Oz: "Hey come on. We'll bring you in. You'll abuse your health benefits and I get a kickback on every test we run on you."
2. Charlie: "You know this is a one-time deal. I'm not interested in driving around in a van with you, solving mysteries."
3. Ray: "Whether or not you trust Charlie isn't the $64,000 question." Toby: "What is the $64,000 question?" Ray: "Why doesn't Charlie trust you?"
4. Becker: "Why are you here?" Toby: "I work here." Becker: "I'll be a little less subtle. Go away."
5. Charlie: "I'm awake." Toby: "I know you are. No one could sleep on these chairs."
6. Teacher: "Take a good look, kids. This is what 35 years of nicotine addiction will get you."



Guest Reviews



Agent of SHIELD - 3.12 - The Inside Man
BY Swanpride 

"People fear what they don't understand." I guess it was unavoidable that the show would use this bit of overused wisdom at one point, but it was nevertheless an eye-rolling moment. Thankfully the episode only got better after it. The Absorbing Man was, along with Talbot, another welcome return from the second season. The character is in a way not more than a cool ability, but something about him makes him really compelling. Perhaps the fact that whenever he opens his mouth, it is normally worth listening to him. "Something went right." is one of the best push-back which was ever delivered to Jemma. I don't think that she is wrong to look for a cure (even though she has only found a vaccine so far), but Daisy is nevertheless right about the danger to misuse said cure. I wonder if such a cure would be a weapon against Hive too? If the Inhumans are his own kind, does this mean that he is biological close to them? I also wonder how powerful his sway over Inhumans is? They are compelled to obey him, but they are certainly not happy about it. There are still a lot of questions regarding Hive (including if the memories of his previous hosts influence his actions). The main action happens on the symposium, though. I am a sucker for episodes which show how the craziness of the MCU impacts the world. I am not sure what was more enjoyable, Talbot insulting people left and right (how did this guy ever manage to score a promotion with his lack of diplomatic skills?), or the team playing around with its various gadgets. The result is an episode, which has a few minor pacing problems and one or two awkward moments, but certainly bounced back from the more disappointing outing of the previous week.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - Come on let's twist again...
Best Scene - In Hindsight, Talbot saying good-bye to Carla. One of the best misleads the show has done so far.
Best Character - Hunter, for being prepared
Best Team-up - Coulson and Talbot. Those two were made to be snarky towards each other.
Best Effects- I am not sure what Hive is actually doing, but it looks cool for sure.
Best Prop - Coulson's newest prosthesis is certainly very handy.
Best Action - Bobbi sliding over the table. That was quite a distance she had to cover.
Most Creepy - I guess Ward/Hive will own this category for the whole season
Most Random Observation - So was Europe not invited to the Symposium?
My Prediction of the Week - We will get a new Inhuman soon...one I am looking forward too. I am curious who was cast in the role of Mantifold.
And the "Hey, Where Are You?" Award goes to - Mack, who was absent for the whole episode without any explanation whatsoever. Hopefully he was just busy organizing a shot gun axe. Or talking to Deadlock.

Best Quote:
1. Coulson: "Congratulations. You have narrowed it down to everyone."
2. Talbot: "Call me Glen - occasionally."



Criminal Minds – 11.17 – The Sandman
BY Emma

Alright Ladies and Gentlemen, this was it – the last episode before we say goodbye to one of our regulars. Since the day it was confirmed I’ve had my money on Morgan and nothing in the last two episodes has changed my mind. This week’s episode opens with a six month time jump and it is Morgan’s first day back after the events of the last episode. Morgan and Savannah are now married (really wish we could’ve gotten that on screen) and even though Morgan has been off, his abduction and who was responsible for it was not far from his mind. The second item he unpacks (first was a wedding photo, awww) is a diagram of all the people who could’ve been responsible and how they overlap – some names are already crossed off but there are far too many possibilities left for my liking. The case of the week was particularly creepy for me as I hate anything that has to do with the eyes – yep, Rachel level eye phobia right here. Joe Mantegna did a great job of directing the episode – felt almost like a MGG episode (my favorite kind) – particularly the last shot of the episode. I assumed it was Morgan that was the target since we faded to black before the gun shot but after seeing the preview for next week, it seems that Savannah was the target. I almost wish I hadn't watched the preview so I would be surprised next week but I have a feeling that next week is going to still be an emotional roller coaster anyway.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch – continuing Morgan saga / creepy COTW
Best Scene – Morgan’s “Welcome Back” party
Best Excuse – Rossi using the baby’s college fund as an excuse for Morgan to join the poker game
Best Reference – The “In Cold Blood” Murders
Best Reaction – Morgan and Rossi to Reid’s hourglass sand calculation explanation
Best Case Continuity – referencing the tornado case they handled in the same area four years ago (S7.E7)
Best Character Continuity – Morgan, Shemar Moore brilliantly played Morgan as slightly subdued, showing us that Morgan is definitely a changed man because of recent events
Best Parenting Plan – Godparenting by committee
The “Best Boss” Award – Hotch, for letting the team have 10 minutes to celebrate Morgan’s return before leaving on the next case
The “That’ll Give Me Nightmares” Award – gluing the eyes shut (gave me the willies just typing that)
The “That’ll Also Give Me Nightmares” Award – Reid’s story about a not so Disney version of The Sandman (yep, more willies)
The “Do People Still Do That?” Award – leave their front doors unlocked in a rural area
The “That’s Not a Coincidence” Award – Morgan was left alone for six months while recuperating and getting married but then attacked his first case back
The “Welcome Back” Award – Cornell Womak, reprising his role as ME Cranston from Season 7
The “Best Cameo” Award – Joe Walsh, Willie J Williams, Ron Coleman, Bill Withers and Smokey as Rossi’s poker buddies

Best Quotes:
1. Savannah: “You didn’t suspect?” Morgan: “I had no idea.” Garcia: “That’s good. A certain amount of cluelessness is nice in a husband.”
2. Morgan: “I’m sorry kid. Six months on the sidelines, I guess I still have a few blisters where I used to have calluses.” Reid: “I don’t think that’s what this is. You’re about to be a dad. You have to expect the world to start to feel different.”
3. Morgan: “What do you got, Baby Girl?” Garcia: “What I’ve got is fail, fail, and more fail.” Rossi: “Remember Thomas Edison. Penelope. I have not failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Garcia: “OK, let me rephrase what I just said. I am currently waist deep in what is not working.”
4. Garcia: “Yes, there is such a thing as the High End Glass Blowing Community.”



Heartland - 9.17 – Love Is Just A Word
BY BlueStar 

Overall this episode was alright. I liked the subplot with Jack and Remie. It was cute and so were Caleb and Cassandra at the end. I may actually be starting to like them together more. However, the love triangle Lou has found herself in is dreadful and kicks this episode down almost a full letter grade. If she goes back to Peter after everything I will be beyond frustrated. The plot with the animal sanctuary and the poacher was good, but it had a predictable outcome (though that may change in the future as I don’t think it’s over yet). The best thing about Heartland this week was finding out we’re getting a Season 10. Hooray!

Grade: B-

Best Reason To Watch – The animal sanctuary storyline was still intense even though I saw most of it coming
Best Scene – Jack talks to Lou in the truck
Biggest Disappointment - Amy and Ty were such background characters this episode. It being so close to the season finale I was hoping we’d get something more.
Biggest Softie – Jack gives in and plays fetch with Remie
Most Appropriate Name – Cassandra’s new and unruly horse is named Spirit
Most Right – Jade tells Adam that he needs to step up and prove to Georgie that he cares about her
Most Promising – The poacher storyline doesn’t look like it’s over yet and if written well, a return to this conflict could lead to some good drama.
Most Likely To Be Considered The Worst Decision Ever In Hindsight - Bob refuses to go to the police about the poacher threatening him and his sanctuary, believing the burning of his clinic would settle the score.
Most Jealous - Peter when he sees Lou dancing with Mitch
The “You Don’t Get To Say That” Award – Peter tells Lou he wants her back after them being separated for months and him dating another woman. And he’s admitting this just as Lou is seriously thinking of dating Mitch.

Best Quotes -
1. Adam: “A horse’s hair grows longer in the winter. If it gets matted and dirty it can create cold spots that can lead to hypothermia.” Jade: “Did you manage to download all of Wikipedia in your brain?”
2. Jack: “It’s good to know when push comes to shove you all will take a dog’s side.”
3. Cassandra: “You’re going to say something really cheesy like how you like rodeo but you love me.” Caleb: “Kind of took the wind out of my sails.”



Nashville - 4.11 - Forever and For Always
BY Jessica VanWinkle

Deacon and Rayna are finally married! The fans have waited years for this, and this episode didn’t disappoint. The wedding was beautiful, and you could tell that these two truly love each other. Of course, Rayna and Deacon had some problems before they tied the knot (this wouldn’t be Nashville without a little drama). First, the media found out the wedding location which forced them to change the venue at the very last minute. Then photographers followed Deacon, Rayna, Maddie and Daphne to their car and asked them very inappropriate questions. “Maddie, which father’s worse? The criminal or the drunk?” I don’t blame Deacon for shoving that photographer. Unfortunately that made Maddie question her father. Daphne was also upset because she felt like an outsider in her own family. Luckily Rayna worked her magic and was able to calm everyone down before the wedding. The actual wedding was perfect. I absolutely loved Scarlett and Gunnar’s song, and Rayna was gorgeous walking down that aisle. The vows were perfect. If this is the final season of Nashville at least our favorite couple ended up together and are happy. While Rayna and Deacon got their happy ending, there was plenty of drama elsewhere. Layla found out that Jeff didn’t commit suicide, and she is out for blood. She wants Juliette to pay, and this will make Avery’s life even more complicated. He’s already about to completely lose it so I think this could be very interesting. The other subplot was Gunnar trying to set Scarlett up with almost every single guy at the wedding. I think he is the worst matchmaker ever! Every guy that Scarlett talked to was awful especially the taxidermist. It’s clear that he wants to be with Scarlett (he looked way too eager to rescue her) so I wish these two would just be together already. But the matchmaking was much needed comic relief so I guess I will let their relationship drama slide for now. I just hope the writers put them together soon. I really loved this episode; I think it was one of the best in the entire series.

Grade: A

Best Actress - Connie Britton
Best Voice - Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen)
Welcome Back Award - Layla Grant
Worst Matchmaker Ever - Gunnar Scott
Cutest Scene - Daphne dancing with Deacon at the reception
Most In Need of Therapy - Avery Barkley
Character I Didn’t Miss - Erin. It was so nice not having unnecessary, boring characters in this episode.
Best Dressed - Rayna James. Her hair is always perfect, but she was especially beautiful at her wedding.

Best Quotes -
1. Deacon: “From the first moment I saw you I knew we were meant for each other. It took us a long while to get here… To get back to us. All that time along the way all we had between us was the music, the friendship. I’m very grateful for that because today that friendship that’s the foundation that we will build this marriage upon.”
2. Rayna: “You were the one that almost got away. With patience and stubbornness here we are. Finally. We had our joys and our sorrows… Our memories and mistakes. But we’ve gotten through all of it because together we’re stronger and we’re wiser.”
3. Deacon: “Ready to do this, Mrs. Claybourne?” Rayna: “It does have a nice ring to it. Of course, you know I would never change my name.” Deacon: “I just wanted to hear it one time.”
4. Avery: “Too bad you can’t find me a date. Oh wait, that’s right, I’m still married. Whiskey, please.”
5. Scarlett: “You like animals?” Mike: “Yeah, very much. I work with all kinds of pets. Cats and dogs mainly, but I do stuff the occasional reptile.” Scarlett: “Like taxidermy?”



New Shows



Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders - 1.01 - Pilot

Don't let the spectacular opening shots fool you. This is very much a USA crime procedural with prettier views and that's not a bad thing. Just don't expect the format or the execution to be any different with the international hook. All that really means is that some police stations will be more cooperative than others, which is true on the parent show too, and the dialogue will be translated or subtitled in parts. The pilot is a little weak too. The case concerns an idiotic teenager traveling with her slightly less idiotic teen friend, who both follow some guy they don't know and end up getting kidnapped by a crazy person for a hunting ritual. Think "The Most Dangerous Game" because it's a tribal version of the short story. As for me, I expected the pilot case to be a little less been there-done that. The characters feel pretty stock right now too but I expect that will change soon. At least 2 have back story with significant heartbreak or issues. Basically, CMBB is pretty bland. If you like procedurals and you have time, check it out. The actors are good. If you don't, you won't be missing much if the pilot is any judge.

Grade: C

Best Reason to Watch - the return of favorite actors
Best Scene - Clara tries to talk the serial killer down
Best Action - chasing down the backpack thief
Best Character Interaction - Jack and Clara
Best Cameo - Rossi
Best Plan - bringing a motorcycle with them
Best Memento - the money wall
Biggest Idiot - Laura the blonde American
Most Loyal - non-blonde American
Most Helpful - Kosum, who doesn't turn Mae in for breaking into the faux morgue to examine the body
Least Helpful - Jack and Clara offer to help the farmer but then don't do a thing
Least Surprising - Clara gets on the plane
The "Welcome Back" Award - Gary Sinise from CSI: New York / Alana De La Garza from Law & Order (and Forever) / Daniel Henney from Hawaii 5-0 / Tyler James Williams from Everybody Hates Chris

Best Quotes -
1. Mae: "Triangle? I've never been a fan of a guy who comes between friends."
2. Jack: "Hey, you hear they downgraded the storm?" Clara: "Yeah? Somebody should tell that to the rain."
3. Clara: "Life's too long to be alone." Jack: "Let's go home."



Crowded - 1.01 / 1.02 - Pilot / Present Tense

I saw this before but I can't for the life of me remember where or why. What I do know is that I liked it better the second time than the first. There are a lot of flaws in this comedy, mostly that the characters are flat and stereotypical. You've got the idiot creative daughter. You've got the brainy kid with no social skills. You've got the obnoxious parents next door. Good thing that Martina and Mike, as the hapless parents who just want sex, aren't stereo…oh wait, they are. They also have good chemistry and the ability to turn from snark to heart on a dime. I'm not sure if this one's a keeper or not but it gets one more episode to prove it should be marathoned and not dropped outright.

Grade: C / B-

Best Reason to Watch / Best Character Interaction - the loving relationship between Martina and Mike
Best Reason to Fast Forward - bratty daughters
Best Character - Bob
Best Scene - Bob asks Mike how he's doing
Best Awww Moment - Mike tells Martina that he can't dream anything better than her
Best Reference - Horton Hears a Who!
Most Uncomfortable - discussing porn with your dad and your stepmom which is not as bad as discussing it with your children in the next scene

Best Quotes -
1. Mike: "Martina, I can't even dream anything better than you."
2. Stella: "I left Justin. We had this big fight and he's dead to me." Mike: "Is he dead to everyone? Did you kill him?" Martina: "Answer your father."
3. Shea: "Don't you put down Belle. She was willing to marry an animal to get a good library."
4. Stella: "I am a singer and an actress. That's like having two lottery tickets." Mike: "Yes, as valuable as two lottery tickets."
5. Stella: "You two get a room." Mike: "We've got a room. You get a house."
6. Stella: "Do we have to pay rent?" Mike: "We're not delusional."



Weekly Shows



The Carmichael Show (1.01-1.03) -

For some reason I thought this was a brand new show. Actually it is on season 2. Ooops! Still I liked these episodes a whole lot more than The Real O'Neals or Crowded and since there aren't that many episodes, it goes on the summer to-watch list. I'm always looking out for a new comedy to replace all the ones I loved that got cancelled. By the far the best reason to watch this show is for the characters. Loretta Devine is stunning as a more traditional mother while Joe makes me laugh every time. Think Everybody Loves Raymond with a little more respect for each other…very little. That's really my only problem with it. I wish the jokes were less at each character's expense although they do broad and topic-specific humor pretty well. I also like the touching moments, especially in episode 1.03 when they think Joe is having another heart attack. Having been through the same thing with my dad recently, it was nice to see the humor in the situation as well as how much Jerrod cares about Joe.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the characters
Best Character Interaction - Jerrod and Cynthia
Best Aww Moment - Jerrod and Joe hug
Best Advice - order fries without salt
Most Talented - Loretta Devine singing
The "I'm with You" Award - I'm not excited about kale either, super food or not.
The "Looking Good" Award - Cynthia's protest clothes. Loretta looks fantastic!
The "Welcome Back" Award - Loretta Devine from Grey's Anatomy and Boston Public / David Alan Grier from Bad Teacher and In Living Color

Best Quotes -
1. Joe: "Why are you so worried about when I'm gonna die?" Jerrod: "Because you're my father and maybe…maybe I'm not done with you yet."
2. Jerrod: "Stop calling it your business when you know it's a pyramid scheme." Bobby: "Brother, I get it. You went to business school but I'm from the school of hard knocks." Jerrod: "Not a real school, bro."
3. Bobby: "You saved my life." Nekeisha: "We all have our regrets."
4. Cynthia: "Jerrod, your daddy is his own man. I will not tell him what to do with his body because I sure don't want him to tell me what to do with mine."
5. Jerrod: "Now where I grew up, we had scary litter. There's only so many bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos a man can see before he knows he's about to be murdered."
6. Bobby: "Wait a minute now. I watch TV. Dad is trying to Empire us."



Code Black - 1.17 / 1.18 - Love Hurts / Blood Sport

First off, Code Black may be the first and only non-crime related medical drama I have ever liked. (Well if you consider Red Band Society as a drama that happens to take place in a hospital instead of a medical drama, that is.) However, this had better not be the series finale because it ends in as much emoangsty relationship and soap opera drama as your pre-Freeform ABC Family sudster. If it's been an afterschool special or topic of daytime talk shows, I think it played out in these two episodes. There's the secret pregnancy with complications, political mudslinging, fake abuse allegations, a fake rape allegation, sudden onset drug abuse issues, some "other woman shows back up and I can't handle it" female drama, Sophie's Choice, class warfare, pay inequity, and so on and so on. That's too much PSA agenda for 2 episodes and even worse, it turned formerly interesting and respectable characters into huge, walking messes. I would hate for this to be the show's legacy. Still there were some high points. I love Rorish and Taylor working together. Even better was Mike every time he was on screen. The man is a saint AND a people person. Who wouldn't want this guy as their boss? Angus is lucky and I never thought I'd say that when he was first mentioned. Mario also grew as a character a bit here. He knew when to shut up and confront Angus directly and when someone higher up needed to be let in on the issue. The fact that he cared enough to try both approaches shows how good this hospital has been for him. It's been good for me too. I finally found a hospital drama that felt realistic AND was interesting. It wasn't all who was hooking up with whom, although there was that, and the best relationships were strictly platonic. Count this as the Red Band Society of my year - the biggest positive shocker of the season. Now here's hoping it doesn't meet the same fate. I'd love to get a season 2.

Grade: B- / C

Best Reason to Watch - the character interaction
Best Reason to Fast Forward - the emoangsty character subplots
Best Team - Rorish and Taylor finding money for the nurses
Best Awww Moment - the kid says that his soon-to-be stepmom is his friend after she goes all zombie bride for his benefit
Best Pep Talk / Best Perspective - Harbert, who reminds the donor that good can come out of bad
Best Bedside Manner - Jesse, who tries to talk the kid into accepting his soon-to-be stepmom
Best ER Hack - peroxide to distinguish fake blood from real blood
Worst Unintentional Advice - Angus' brother pretty much told him to keep taking drugs
Worst Subplot - Angus' addiction
Biggest Douche - the senator's daughter right up to the moment her mom dies
Biggest Laugh - the zombies enter the hospital
Biggest Ugh - Christa and Grace fight
Biggest Brat - Luke
Most Annoying - Christa and Neal's relationship issue
Most Evil - Heather
Most Awesome - Mike
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Taylor
The "Welcome Back" Award - Gonzalo Menendez from most cop or action shows I've watched / Robert Curtis Brown from Supernatural and Perception / Paula Newsome from NCIS, who recently rocked HTGAWM

Best Quotes -
1. Jesse: "Nurse comes from the word nourish. Did you know that? You develop the plan and write the orders. We have your back. We double check your doses, cover your mistakes. We don't work for you, Leanne. We are you. Your care depends on us."
2. Angus: "You have ADHD?" Heather: "No, I'm a surgeon who works 36 hour shifts. It will focus you in. Silicon Valley runs on this stuff." Angus: "Well I am not Steve Jobs."
3. Taylor: "You really think you're going to drag me off my boat to talk about the budget? I'd rather have a root canal…on my nuts."
4. Jesse: "You hug me any tighter, your boobs are going to crack my ribs." Rorish: "I hug you any tighter, you're gonna have cookie dough coming out your a**."
5. Rorish: "Up there it's all budgets and numbers and charts. Down here it's people."



CSI: Cyber - 2.18 - Legacy

As a regular episode, this is a decent episode if a bit disjointed in pacing. As a probable series finale, it is a fail for me for the same reasons it will be a success for others. We spent so much time tying up all the loose ends that the episode felt like a hodgepodge mix with little rhyme or reason. Why exactly did we need to cram in an Avery and Andrew reconciliation? Did we really need to spend the last part with DB in Paris? I have zero understanding how Nelson could even become an FBI agent much less how he became one so quickly. I watch Quantico. In the rush to create a happy ending for all, they screwed over the time needed for one of their most interesting cases. I actually wanted to know more about Jake than most of these time forward jumps. As for the Nina thing, I think "that escalated quickly" is a big understatement. In the end, I am glad I watched this show. I actually learned a lot and hopefully became smarter about online safety. I just don't think I will remember this show 2 years down the line and I definitely won't remember this episode

Grade: C

Best Reason to Watch - it's the finale
Best Scene - Elijah tackles the criminal while Krumitz saves the kid
Best Character Interaction - Elijah and his dad
Best Kind of Boss - DB tells Raven he's not losing her just because the program is gone
Best End - DB in Paris
Best Twist - the government hacking "terrorist" patched the back door that let him in when no one else did
Least Gullible - Emma, who is about 6 years old
Most Screwed - Raven, who wouldn't be in this predicament if both Avery and Nelson hadn't messed with her future
Most Direct - Jessica
Most impressive…for Bad Reasons - Jake, who hacks the government as a teen
Biggest Shock - Nelson is an FBI agent
Biggest Disappointment - Andrew is leaving his fiancé basically at the altar
Biggest Ugh - everyone's relationship drama is taking up too much crime time
Biggest What the Heck? - The FBI is still allowing Nelson to work with them even though he threatened to sue them for unlawful arrest? Say what?
Second Biggest What the Heck? - Why is the dead guy's fingers still pooling blood when he's been dead for hours? Did they accidentally stick the actor or are they going for a cooler effect?

Best Quotes -
1. Raven: "This is really hard. I love my job and everyone here is my family. What happens next is in the hands of the judge and I can only hope that I…I get time served."
2. Nelson: "Since Raven is a consultant now and I'm an FBI agent, does that mean I get to boss her around?" Elijah: "What?" Raven: "Absolutely not!" Nelson: "Why not?" Elijah: "Please." Krumitz: "There's no way. She could beat you up with your gun."
3. Nelson: "You do realize that's called hacking, right? I mean it…it is a crime." Krumitz: "It's what you do afterwards that makes all the difference."
4. Krumitz: "Brody Nelson with a gun. I don't think any of us really believe that it's actually happening."
5. Krumitz: "Jake patched the vulnerability on the OPM's site. That's why it was so easy for us to trace the hack and the e-mails back to his computer. He thought he was fixing the problem. We're the ones who decided he was a criminal."



Elementary (4.13-4.16)

These were fairly typical episodes of Elementary so if you normally like the show, nothing will be much different. They did however contain personal elements in most. In particular, there was a lot of back story. I found the part about Sherlock's mother being an addict fascinating. I would like to learn more about that and to see how it affects Sherlock now. I know he said it doesn't but it almost has to. I was less thrilled with the subplot involving Gregson's girlfriend and her MS diagnosis. I already think he's an amazing, chivalrous man so no need for further proof of it although seeing Virginia Madsen again was nice. Still what knocked the grade down a little was the anticlimactic finish to the Morland leak situation. I hope we haven't seen the end of this subplot because it would be disappointing this way. Bonus points though go to how much more human Sherlock is, even if he has been improving steadily for the last couple of years. I love how he treated Eugene's issues with respect, candor, and humility. Sherlock has come a long way since season 1 and I delight in his transformation more each season.

Grade: B (overall)

Best Reason to Watch - the cases
Best Scene - Gregson talks to Watson about MS / Sherlock confronts Eugene about his possible addiction
Best Mediator - Watson between Sherlock and their old neighbor
Best Character Interaction - Sherlock and Morland
Best Point - Sherlock's former neighbor turns tables on Joan about her noise complaint
Best Back Story - Sherlock's mom
Best Continuity - Eugene has PTSD from the bomb in the morgue earlier
Biggest Shots Fired - Morland tells Sherlock that his mom was an addict
Most Interesting Way to Find a Killer - Sherlock suggests they make it look like Henry killed his cousin
Most Ho Hum - It's another crazy lady leaving her money to her dog. This story has been told before. A lot.
Most Melodramatic - Gregson's girlfriend has MS
The "Miss You Already" Award - Eugene
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Morland
The "Welcome Back" Award - Virginia Madsen from The Event and Witches of East End / Richard Kind from Burn Notice and Gotham / Tom Everett Scott from Law & Order and Southland

Best Quotes -
1. Watson: "What's all this?" Sherlock: "Illumination, Watson." Watson: "It is if you put it in the fireplace."
2. Bell: "Always great to get criminals back out on the street."
3. Watson: "The one thing the literature probably doesn't mention is that you're not going to go through it alone. Your friends are going to be there for you."
4. Sherlock: "There is a vast gap between impossible and impossible to imagine."
5. Sherlock: "She's no less dead, I'm no less an addict, and you're no more a father."



The Flash (2.13-2.15)

I know the majority of the fandom was really excited to go to Earth 2, but for me that's all gimmick especially when it leads to shipping and emoangst. I did love seeing Iris as a cop though and it's about time we got to hear Jesse Martin's singing voice. Other than that it was one overly long gag about bad guys who are good guys and good guys becoming bad guys. I most certainly did not need a clumsy Deadshot. What I did need was more rescue in this rescue mission. Let's hold the killer shark, CGI bad guys too while we're at it. It was nice to see Diggle and Lila again though. Their relationship has definitely progressed since I dropped Arrow.

Grade (overall): C+

Best Reason to Watch - for most I suspect it is Earth 2 but for me it is getting rid of Jay, at least for a little while
Best Scene - Joe tells Wally that he has nothing to fear from Barry and that they are both his sons
Best Trick - Caitlin pretends to channel her inner Killer Frost
Best Twist - Jay is stabbed by Zoom and sucked into Earth 2
Best Pep Talk - Barry to Barry / Diggle to Barry
Best Change - Joe as a lounge singer
Best Reference - 2001 / Frozen
Best Awww Moment - Barry talks to his mom
Least Surprising - Jay is Zoom
Least Effective - Once they knew the other caged guy was knocking out letters, they needed to just say the alphabet and have him knock on the right letter. It would have been faster. Also more helpful info would have been nice. How does knowing the secret identity help them?
Most Adorkable - Earth 2 Barry
Most Hokey Dialogue - Killer Frost / Geomancer
Most Inspiring - Barry says that they will defeat Zoom when they meet again
Most Cranky - Wells
Most Annoying Character - Jesse
Most Annoying Subplot - Barry has to save Iris and avenge Joe's death instead of actually saving Wells' daughter. Ugh, Barry.
Dumbest MetaHuman - Killer Shark
Biggest Tearfest - Barry talks to Joe and Iris about Earth 2's Joe being dead
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Diggle and Lila
The "Welcome Back" Award (actor) - Demore Barnes from Supernatural

Best Quotes -
1. Cisco: "That did not go as planned." Barry: "Her name starts with Killer. This comes as a shock to you."
2. Wally: "I don't understand you people. Jaws busts through your house like the Kool-Aid man. The Flash shows up and you all just act like it's no big deal." Iris: "Yeah well, we've had a lot of weird things happen in Central City over the past 2 years." Wally: "Weirder than a talking shark wearing pants?" Joe: "Man, you'd be surprised."
3. Wells: "Ramone!" Cisco: "What?" Wells: "Not a sightseeing tour." Cisco: "Speak for yourself. We want our grandkids to know we did cool stuff."
4. Vibe: "Are you Cloud City Vader-ing me right now?"
5. Cisco: "We're gonna need a bigger Flash."
6. Joe: "I don't suppose my home owner's insurance covers a Sharknado attack."



The Goldbergs - 3.18 - 12 Tapes for a Penny

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - reconciliations
Best Scene - Bill bends when it comes to Barry
Best Character Interaction - Murray and Barry
Most Nostalgic - the music, which brought back memories of concerts with my friends…accompanied by my parents since we were too young to go by ourselves
Most Eager to Please - Barry
Biggest Face Palm - Those cassette titles didn't give away Adam as the culprit? Yikes!
The "Who Knew?" Award - Lunchables did exist in the 80's. I thought that was a 90's thing.
Best Music - Chicago but let's face it. Chicago 17 was far superior to Chicago 16. Remember the Feeling is still one of my favorite songs.

Best Quotes -
1. Beverly: "I hope it was worth it, Erica. You're grounded for a month. No phone, no crimper." Erica: "A month with smooth hair? Are you crazy?"
2. Erica: "As much as I would love to commit mail fraud with you, Mom's really been on my back lately." Adam: "Oh come on, commit a felony with me. It'll be a good bonding experience or at the very least a cautionary tale."
3. Barry: "Can you at least tell him how good I am at getting all the shampoo out of my hair in the shower?" Murray: "As a favor to you, no."
4. Erica: "This is ridiculous. Why do I always get blamed for everything that goes wrong in this house?" Adam: "Because you do most of it." Erica: "You know if mom thinks I'm so bad maybe it's time to show her how bad I can really be." Adam: "Wait, this was you holding back. Oh, this is not good."
5. Bill: "If that jacket hits the floor tonight, so do you."



How to Get Away with Murder - 2.15 - Anna Mae

This episode had a little too much home and flashback drama for me and too little current crime drama. I like knowing more about Annalise but one house party would have sufficed. No need for the family dinner too. That being said, the greatest acting occurred between Annalise and her mama with Cicely Tyson stealing the show most of the time. They give her the best dialogue but the best acting goes to Viola Davis for the scene where she breaks down in the yard. It was a powerful release of guilt and sorrow brought to surface by a woman who understands pain and the need to share each other's burdens. I think this scene was even more powerful than the one in season one where Mama admitted to Annalise that she killed the abuser in a fire - although it's close. However for my money it was really a Frank episode. His story line answered the most questions and provided the more powerful plot movement. Watching him break down and confess to Sam answered so many lingering questions although I am still not sure keeping a secret from his boss should have ever extended to being blackmailed into murder. That's a stretch. I also loved the scenes with Frank and Bonnie. I am not sure why she is so apt to protect Frank - must be another secret waiting to be revealed - but I like when these two are on camera together. I hope it continues even though Annalise has fired Frank…I think. I'm not really sure. Not so sure about Oliver either who is getting shadier by the minute. Count another one corrupted because instead of being horrified that an innocent man might be framed, he's cheering Annalise for being clever enough to arrange it. Oh Oliver. You should have left while you could.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - twists and answers everywhere
Best Scene - Frank confesses to the bug and Sam uses it to blackmail him into killing Lila
Best Acting - Viola Davis of course, when she's burying the letter to her dead baby
Best Reaction - the students to seeing who the mole is
Best Answer to a Question I've Long Since Forgotten - the suitcase of cash from earlier was blood money Frank got in exchange for bugging Annalise's office, which in turn was used to kill her son
Best Character Interaction - Annalise and Mama
Most Awkward Character Interaction - Annalise and her father
Least Competent - the police in this show. Exactly how many people are going to die before someone actually gets caught?
Worst Timing - Wes, always

Best Quotes -
1. Annalise: "I hate you." Mama: "You love me. Everybody love me."
2. Connor: "Are we supposed to believe any of this?" Laurel: "Haven't you learned not to ask that question by now?"
3. Mama: "Anna Mae, the reason why you feel it's so hard is because you're trying to do it all alone."
4. Connor: "When we move to California, I'm going to put you in rehab for hacking."
5. Bonnie: "She's gonna want to kill me too." Frank: "She won't." Bonnie: "You don't know that." Frank: "I do because I'm the one she'd ask to do it."
6. Frank: "Please, I've got to tell her." Sam: "No, I lost my son. I can't lose her too. You tell her and I'll ruin you."



iZombie - 2.13 / 2.14 - The Whopper / Eternal Sunshine of the Caffeinated Mind

iZombie continues to turn on the case of the week for me although I am glad that many of the loose threads of the overarching mythos are catching up to one another. I'm still not a fan of the faux serial killer Major storyline but I do like that Gilda is kind of caught out. I like that Major almost told Liv the truth more and I hope they follow through on that unlike the non-follow through on Blaine's dad. What ended up happening with him? I'm not really sure what to do with Blaine going zombie again either. That is what happened, right? For all the mythos of the first episode, I ended up liking the second one better. Liv's cheerfulness made me laugh more than it irked me, which surprised me. The café reminded me of a Supernatural episode where everyone was way too New Age-y too. (Affirmation.) I also liked the twist of them knowing who did it but not being able to prove it. As Buffy once said, "Love makes you do the wacky."

Grade: B- / B

Best Reason to Watch - twists and plot ends coming together
Best Scene - Liv threatens Gilda
Best Talent - Blaine singing Whiter Shade of Pale
Best Reference - Les Mis
Best Back Story - Blaine's childhood
Best Twist - Drake is working undercover for the cops
Worst Twist - Blaine is back to being a zombie…I think
Biggest Turn Off - for Ravi, the barista has never seen Star Wars
Most Cathartic - Liv punches Gilda
Most Evil - Bader, who killed Blaine's dog
Most Disgusting - zombie rat
The "About Time" Award - Clive has finally figured out that Liv takes on the traits of the dead people they investigate. I was worried about how a detective couldn't make that connection.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Enrico Colantoni from Veronica Mars and Flashpoint / Kacey Rohl from The Magicians and Wayward Pines

Best Quotes -
1. Drake: "Do you feel that? It's tumor." Liv: "It's not a tumor. It's a muscle. You could have it removed but then you'd only have a 5-pack. It's too risky."
2. Major: "Warning - your dad's still frozen." Blaine: "Okay, someone's got to make an obligatory popsicle joke, right? No? When'd it get so highbrow in here?"
3. Drake: "It's a pretty good a** shot of me. Feel free to hang it in your locker." Lou: "Cover up my David Cassidy? Doubt it."
4. Liv: "So what brings you down here on this beautiful morning." Clive: "It's raining." Liv: "That's liquid sunshine, my friend. Don't believe me? Ask a farmer or a duck…" Ravi: "Or Gene Kelly."
5. Bader: "Still the insolent boy." Blaine: "I blame my upbringing. Clearly I wasn't beaten enough as a child." Bader: "It remains my greatest regret." Blaine: "Really? So you're over losing out to Eva Braun, huh?"
6. Liv: "You're a sick b** and I just want you out now because at midnight I'm going to hunt down anything you left behind and burn it."



Legends of Tomorrow (1.05-1.08) -

Still not sold on Legends of Tomorrow, mostly because Hunter is a grade-A jerk. I spend most of my time yelling about what a hypocrite he is or wishing he'd die so it's distracting me from the plot. Not that it is much better giving the whole time travel conundrum and the fact that the characters take turns being idiots. At least they are somewhat getting along better…kind of…oh, forget it. They dumped Rory and he was the most fun of them all. Snart has grown on me, even with the irritating whisper voice, and is largely the group's conscious now…except when he isn't. Sarah is the brawn and is always a highlight when she's kicking bad guy butt. Jax and Stein need to stop arguing so it's good to see that they are at least trying these days. Ray is still irritating but at least Kendra has improved some. However nothing I saw here made me want to watch this show weekly so it is downgraded to marathon later status with the potential to downgrade to never this summer.

Best Reason to Watch - all the fight scenes and each episode ends on a cliffhanger
Best Scene - Rory refuses to leave Ray at the gulag
Best Fight Scene - any with Sarah / 2046 Star City fight
Best Cameo - Hallucination Cisco
Best Reference - Rocky 4
Best Save - Jax limps to save Stein
Best Back Story - Snart and Rory
Worst Back Story - Hunter's for the 993rd time. I am so sick of Hunter's pity party. I don't care for one more monologue about how his family died. It doesn't make him any less of a complete douche.
Biggest PSA - the entire 50's episode
Biggest Hypocrite / Most Selfish - Hunter above everyone else by a few light years. Please die. Now.
Biggest Shock - Oliver is back and one-armed
Biggest Foul - we don't get to see Stein take out the space pirate
Biggest What the Heck? - Snart shoots Rory (but I am guessing does not kill him)
Most Naïve - Ray, as in irritatingly so at this point
Least Likely to Inspire Trust - Snart knocks out Rory and drags him back to the ship
The "I'm with You" Award - Kendra, you are so right. Picard was definitely hotter than Kirk.
The "Something's Never Change" Award - Oliver's still a jerk in the future

Best Quotes -
1. Rory: "More drinking, less feeling."
2. Sarah: "I just took out 6 men. You guys couldn't handle one?"
3. Slade: "You're not Green Arrow. You're just a punk in a Halloween costume." Connor: "Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you."
4. Ray: "This must be where they keep the VIP's." Rory: "This is prison, jacka**. There are no VIP's."
5. Sarah: "I knew your father. He was insane. Seems to run in the family."
6. Rory: "You think you proved something back there?" Ray: "Proved I wasn't scared." Rory: "Proved you make a great piñata. He could have beaten you to death."



Rizzoli & Isles - 6.18 - A Shot in the Dark

Come on. Admit it. You were thinking Red Wedding the whole time too, weren't you? Moral - never have a wedding when a sociopath is hunting you. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say no one important is going to get seriously hurt but I'm going after everyone involved if Kiki dies. No man pain for Korsak please. He deserves a break and so does the audience from an overused trope. As for this episode, it felt a bit disjointed because of the constant back and forth between the wedding and the psycho. I know they played it up that way for dramatic tension but it ended up making both sides feel unnecessarily drawn out. Besides, they aren't killing the leads before the finale season this summer. Here's hoping that this season finale is just saving its oomph for a seat of your pants, whirlwind finale season 7. The crew, cast, and audience all deserve that.

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - the wedding
Best Signage - The Dirty Robber's outside drink board says, "Drink somewhere else - Vince is getting married today."
Best Awww Moment - Korsak and Kiki's wedding vows when Korsak throws his 2 page rehearsed vows away to speak spontaneously
Best Fashion Statement - Kiki is a beautiful bride so she wins Most Beautiful hands down. Kent's kilt and Nina's hat win the fashion awards though.
Best Dancer - Frankie
Worst Dichotomy - the case and the wedding
Most Patient - Kiki, whose wedding is held up by Jane's police chase
Most Easily Impressed - Kent by Jane knowing Archie comics
Least Surprising - gunfire disrupts the wedding
Sweetest Gesture - Kent plays bagpipes for them…badly
The "Who Knew?" Award - There's a fast pass to cross the border between the US and Canada. Like Disney World. Huh? Good to know.
The "Takes One to Know One" Award - Crankypants Retiree lets Korsak in because of his marriage record

Best Quotes -
1. Korsak: "How did I get so lucky?"
2. Maura: "This is a bad road." Jane: "Well I didn't pick this road. I'm sure as hell not going to let her drive."
3. Frankie: "The fantastic three. Why did Alice break the mold?" Nina: "Because Marvel had the rights to Fantastic Four?" Frankie: "Nerd humor. Nice."
4. Jane: "I don't mean to be intimidating." Maura: "But you are." Angela: "Yeah you don't mean to be a pain the a** either, but sometimes…" Jane: "Yes, I wonder where I got that. It's a mystery."
5. Jane: "I've been a cr** best man." Korsak: "There have been 3 before you and you, Jane Rizzoli, are by far the best…looking."



Scorpion - 2.19 - Tocker

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - It's Walter and team working to save the life of a cute kid. What more do you need?
Best Reaction - Sylvester when the bag of blood drops on him
Best Interaction - Walter and Olivia
Best Nicknames - To Walter, Toby is "Know It All". To Toby, Walter is "Ego-Maniac".
Best Advice - Olivia tells Walter that she's going to have a little fun before immersing herself in work
Biggest Face Palm - two words = plea bargain
Biggest Aww Moment - Technically Walter seeing Olivia is the tearjerker but I actually prefer the team staying with the mom through the night. They take care of each other and they take care of her. Nothing better than that.
Biggest Eye Brow Raise - the rundown, rusty shed pinhole camera
Most Clever - the Rube Goldberg device that sends off the terrorism e-mail
Most Fun - Scorpiolympics, especially human bowling
Smartest Genius in the Room - in this case, Toby for diagnosing the first patient
The "Way to Draw It Out" Award - Sylvester, maybe if you didn't draw out the tension on which number is the logarithm or make it into a story, Walter wouldn't be roof jumping 10 minutes later. Speed it up, buddy. No one has time for this.
The "Debbie Downer" Award - Every time Dr. Bennett calls it's more bad news. Stop calling already, lady!

Best Quotes -
1. Toby: "Don't say anything blunt or harsh. In other words Happy, don't be yourself." Happy: "I'd be offended by that if it weren't so true."
2. Toby: "Taking gold in freestyle buzz kill, Walter O'Brien."
3. Paige: "You…uh, you taking a break from being efficient?" Walter: "No, this is the definition of efficiency - making every second count."
4. Walter: "My life is more than a third over." Cabe: "Want to trade?"
5. Sylvester: "He came in with no disease. You gave him blood. Now he has a disease." Cabe: "I'm not a genius and even I can figure that one out."
6. Paige: "We'll be here." Olivia's Mom: "You don't have someone you need to get home to?" Paige: "I do, which is why I know how you must feel. I'm going to have the sitter bring him here." Walter: "We're not leaving you alone."



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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