Hi, and welcome to the first edition of Last Week in TV for the 2016-2017 TV season. As is now our habit, this one contains the featured reviewers' and my TV wishes. Just like in any review, it's all opinion and yours may differ. I encourage you to add your own TV wishes in the comments below. It makes for great discussion when opinions vary as long as everyone remembers that there's no one right opinion. We also have some summer reviews of 12 Monkeys and Outlander by BlueStar and Swanpride, respectively. How did your summer viewing go?
The regular column will begin next week, although it will be moving to Sundays instead of Mondays. Like last year, it will feature a review of a nominated episode. If you have a show/episode you would like me to review, please fill out the short 2-question form below. All nominations go into a spreadsheet, where I use a random number generator to select the episode I review. I will not review anything covered by our featured reviewers, but most everything else is fair game as long as I have some way to access the episode. If you have any questions about this part of the column, please e-mail me at email@example.com, tweet me @dahne1, or leave a comment below.
Last year, I added guest reviewers to help me cover more TV shows. As it worked really well last year (thanks reviewers!!!) and since there's even more TV to review this year, I am looking for some more people to join our group. If you are interested in becoming a writer for the SpoilerTV team at some point, this is a great way to get a taste of what it's like to review TV on a deadline. It's also great if you just want to share your thoughts on a favorite show. Fill out the form below for more details.
So as another TV season starts, I just want to say thank you for being a part of Last Week in TV. I hope you are as excited as I am about your favorite returning shows and that you are interested in a few new ones too. Join us next Sunday as we share our thoughts on opening premiere week and until then, don't forget to add your TV wish lists in the comments section and as always, happy TV viewing!
Guest Wish Lists
1. More wins for the time travel machine team
2. For Ramse not to be opposite of the team, especially Cole again
3. For Cole to not lose his characterization progress from Season 2 too much despite who the Witness is
4. For Cassie to regain back some of her old Season 1 self
5. For Season 3 to keep having lots of action and great moments
1. Inhumans! (Especially more Yoyo)
2. The Return of characters from past seasons (Where is Mike Peterson? Is Donnie Gill still alive? Whatever happened to Quin and the Gravitonium?)
3. An exciting new villain (it is time to give Hydra a break)
4. Otherwise I just want the show to stay as twisty as it always was...and I don't want it to become Ghostrider with a few AoS characters thrown in.
1. Since Thomas Gibson was fired, I hope they give us a plausible reason for his character's sudden departure that doesn't involve death but feels genuine for the character since the whole thing will be settled off screen.
2. Better integration of the serialized component this year - chasing the escaped serial killers is a great serialized story line but it only works if it's not dropped after the premier for six episodes and then resolved in one or two when they do come back to it.
3. Since the escaped serial killers are ones that have intimate knowledge of our beloved team, I really hope they use this opportunity to also bring back law enforcement/other agents from previous seasons to help catch them and delve into how their escape impacts the team on an emotional/mental level.
1. Less drama/storyline surrounding Georgie
2. More Amy and Ty storyline
3. More scenes involving the "healing horses" part of the show
4. A storyline involving Ty's horse Harley
5. Lou and Mitch's relationship develops well
1. More Abuela! With everything going on with Xo and Jane when the season starts, they could use a giant dose of her wisdom and some of my favorite scenes are when the three generations of women come together to support each other
2. Xo keeps the baby, but gets back together with Rogelio. Those two are meant for each other!
3. Rafael is able to move on from Jane - but not with Anezka!
1. Maze to explore her sexuality further.
2. Dan to have something constructive to do that doesn't involve his relationship with Chloe.
3. Lucifer to continue showing off his "devil" side to the people that deserve it.
4. The writers to take their time setting up Chloe and Lucifer as they still need to develop to have a meaningful relationship.
5. More awesome fight scenes with all the characters.
1. Mitch and Cam to stop bickering constantly and have actual intimate moments.
2. Jay to let Claire continue to figure out how to run the company and to not stick his nose into everything she does.
3. Alex to get a more meaningful storyline.
4. Some episodes that are more "serialized" - or have an actual impact in later episodes. Or just, you know, have those deeper episodes that this show once thrived in making.
5. Lily to have more to do this season.
1. For Gunnar and Scarlett to be happy together!
2. For Maddie to have less screen time and not to be such a brat.
3. More music! Last season there was so much drama and not enough music. The show is about the country music industry after all.
4. Rayna! I hope Connie Britton signs on for more episodes because the show needs Rayna.
5. Avery and Juliette need work out their issues.
1. More focus on the cases and not relationship drama.
2. I ended up really liking Caleb last season so I hope he gets a new story.
3. I would like to know more about the characters' pasts.
4. I hope the show focuses on just a few main characters. Last season the show introduced so many characters week after week it was hard to keep track of all of them, and I found myself not caring.
Dahne's Wish Lists
First and foremost, I wish that this season's crop of TV is better than last year's. Many of my returning shows on large were a disappointment with few surpassing the year before and I dropped far more of the new shows midyear than I usually do. I didn't even have a crushing cancellation because I wasn't that enthralled with most shows anyway. It's been a few years now and I still haven't found that next big TV obsession so here is my general top 5 TV wish list for 2016-2017:
1. Find a new show with decent ratings (so it isn't canceled) that I really love. So far, This is Us is the frontrunner.
2. Have a better crop of comedies to choose from. Besides Fresh Off the Boat, I haven't found a comedy I really liked since Enlisted was canceled too soon.
3. Returning shows that faltered last season come back stronger than ever.
4. Writers find their originality and avoid cliches like hooking up the leads, love triangles, will they-won't they scenarios, death for shock value, and other tropes that generate more eye rolling than enthusiasm.
5. Get show runners and writers off social media so they can tell their story, not the story of the loudest faction on Facebook. That's what fanfic is for.
1. Fix it. There was a noticeable decline in quality last season. Hire new writers; spend more time storyboarding. I don't care what it takes. Make a better story.
2. Make the characters recognizable. Don't change the characters to fit whatever plot you decide to go with. Their actions need to make sense with what we already know about them.
3. Zero romance. You've already proven you don't do this well. Let's focus on survival instead.
4. Try killing off the characters I don't like instead of all the ones I do. Start with Jasper…or Jaha. I'm not picky but leave Kane, Octavia, and Raven alone. Everyone else is fair game.
5. Don't even think of making Clarke the commander of the grounders. She's already enough of a super special snowflake and it wouldn't make sense anyway.
6. More Indra and Octavia moments.
7. More grounder back story/history/culture.
1. Frankly, I am surprised by how much I liked this show last season so just keep doing what you're doing.
2. Perhaps fewer gallons of fake blood per episode would keep costs down and in no way hinder the gore of the show.
3. Give Ash more "grownup" moments instead of being a general narcissistic douche.
4. Keep making Kelly kick butt and maybe up her skills now that she's been fighting evil for awhile.
5. Give Pablo and Kelly a bigger part of the story.
1. Keep letting Sheldon grow up.
2. Find some humor that is not always putting each other down.
3. Make the Bernadette and Howard as parents story touching too instead of playing it for cheap laughs.
4. Keep bringing in the parents, especially Mary.
5. Stop making Raj so annoying, which definitely means drop the freaking love triangle element.
1. Last season was the first time I liked Liz so please don't ruin that by making her hypocritical towards Red again.
2. Let there be actual consequences and fallout from Liz pretending to be dead.
3. Keep Mr. Kaplan on the show. I don't care how or why but she rocks.
4. Find a new Big Bad besides the government being corrupt. That has been played out.
5. Keep giving James Spader meaty scenes to showcase how awesome he is at his craft.
1. Kill off Rhys. He's annoying, not fun.
2. Give Margot reigns to the family business but let her mom undermine her in the process, making a tricky mother-daughter relationship even rockier.
3. Make the procedural part more interesting.
4. Give Alice and Valerie more scenes and more bonding time together.
5. Bring back some of the fun guest characters like Leah, Valerie's ex, and Margot's mom.
1. Don't screw with the formula. You don't need to be Grey's. You need to be the first half of season 1 all over again.
2. More Mike in every way. He was the best addition midseason. Just don't douche him up or make his relationship with Angus rocky. Their brother bond was refreshing.
3. Despite what I've heard, yes, you do need to acknowledge that Christa and Neal are gone and have a plausible reason for it.
4. If you absolutely have to keep Heather and Campbell, tone them down a whole lot. Giving us more of the most repulsive and irritating characters is not usually a good sign.
5. Keep the Mama and Daddy love coming. I adore Jesse and Rorish.
1. Yes, I am repeating myself. Yes, I say this every year. It's still my biggest TV wish for any show. BRING BACK MORIARTY!!!!
2. While you're at it, bring back Morland too, especially if it means scenes with Moriarty and him.
3. Last year, it felt like Joan and Sherlock were separated more than usual. I'm glad they have their bond back instead of always bickering but I'd like them to share more screen time too.
4. More Captain and Bell time as well.
5. Make the cases more genuinely interesting instead of just making them more bizarre.
1. Bring back the fun. That means stop moping. Stop romancing. Get back to the action.
2. Make Wally interesting or decrease his screen time.
3. Bring back the heartfelt Joe and Barry talks. I missed them.
4. Undo the mess Barry made quickly and then have someone Gibbs' slap him for going back in time in the first place.
5. Get better villains, not cheesy, over-the-top, or repetitive ones.
1. Keep focusing on Jessica and Honey's friendship. It's a win-win for both characters.
2. Even less time on Eddie's whiny woes than last season.
3. Since we've got the sismance with Jessica and Honey, maybe turn up the bromance quotient by giving Louis a buddy too, just not anyone at the restaurant.
4. Which brings us to…spend less time at the restaurant. The characters there are so one-dimensional that it is sometimes painful to watch them.
5. For the love of all things fair, write some episode that makes it impossible for the Emmy's to keep snubbing Constance Wu.
1. Stop writing plots where the parents give in because their kids whine and mope and claim things aren't fair. You are not helping the world at all.
2. Stop having the kids be so bratty to begin with. What I loved about season 1 is that it felt more like typical 80's relationships between the parents and their kids. Now it's this 21st century junk that no parent I knew would have stood for back then.
3. More episodes based off of 80's touchstones like The Goonies.
4. More Murray. With anyone.
5. Tone Beverly down a little more but keep bringing those great scenes between Murray and her.
1. Sex might sell but it makes for one boring filler scene after another. Tone it down big time. It made the first half of season 2 practically unwatchable at times.
2. More Frank and Bonnie, less students.
3. Make both Wes and Connor less whiny and likely to blame everyone else, put them on screen less, or kill them.
4. Fix episode pacing. Last season in particular, it felt like episodes dragged on and then got really good in the last 10 minutes. There's only so many twists and cliffhangers you can end on before getting there isn't worth it anymore.
5. Keep allowing Viola Davis to drive the show with her tour-de-force acting. She is the show.
1. As the best new show of the season, the best thing that can happen is for the show to keep doing what it's doing. That includes keeping up the pacing, action, and of course the awesome fight scenes.
2. Kill off Quinn. For real. For eternity.
3. Make The Widow the new Big Bad and have Lydia join her in a massive Female Power faction.
4. More Tilda, especially if it means questioning her mother and the way she runs things.
5. Make MK less annoying and more appreciative of the awesomeness that is Sunny.
1. Continue with the momentum of the season finale and open the season with a punch. Last season started slowly and it hurt the show audience overall.
2. Fully integrate Clive now that he knows.
3. No love triangles. Ever.
4. Drop the Boss plot and Blaine's amnesia.
5. Quit killing off Liv's boyfriends or quit hiring actors I really like to play her boyfriend. She's starting to be the Sam Winchester of the show. Besides, I actually liked Lowell and Drake. Kill off the annoying characters instead.
1. Less Cassandra. Yeah, I said it and I know she's a fan favorite but she is also the second most annoying character on this show…still.
2. Turn Flynn's part into a "heard about but never seen" role because he IS the most annoying character on the show. It's also the single most hammy, overacted role since Malcolm Merlyn in season 1 of Arrow or anything Nathan Fillion has ever done.
3. More Jenkins, especially more on his background.
4. Add more background to the artifacts they are collecting, similar to how Warehouse 13 did.
5. Last season had some great twists and an intriguing idea for the serialized concept. More of that please.
1. In my most controversial wish of this season, send Ralph off to boarding school. The acting is wooden and if little Ralph saves the world one more time, more than socks will be thrown. This is actually more of a sticking point for me than #2.
2. Kill ALL romance on this show. You already screwed up Toby AND Happy, Megan's dead, and the absolute worst thing that could happen would be Paige and Walter getting together, continuing the "will they-won't they, wink, wink" annoyance that was last year, or getting into a love triangle.
3. Fix Toby, who went from a fun and snarky character in season 1 to an angry, depressed, mopey, whiny, child of a character in season 2.
4. More Cabe time for all the characters and thus more Cabe time for me.
5. Keep allowing Walter to learn how to be a real boy. (Sorry, bad Pinocchio reference.)
6. Get rid of the lawyer guest star and don't replace him with another wacky character. The Scorpion team is wacky enough without adding a sidekick.
1. Keep the super-est, special-est snowflake Amberle in the freaking tree.
2. Kill off Wil or take after the books and have none of the characters back for round two.
3. Make Eretria the Warrior Queen she is destined to be.
4. Add to the mythos and world-building of Shannara.
5. More Allanon and he can even spend entire episodes clothed this time.
1. For the love of my sanity, NO MORE ANGEL PLOTS!!!
2. Andrew Dabb, do NOT under any circumstances screw with my brother bond. Jeremy Carver did and I will never forgive him.
3. Just because you take over doesn't mean that the previous seasons never happened. Don't screw with canon just to put your own spin on it.
4. No bait and switch villains. I love the idea of Dean and Sam finally taking on humans again. No need to try to go too epic. That was old by season 5.
5. Let's have some fun. Let the Winchesters have some fun. Not every season must be angst and manpain and depression.
6. Please, please, please let Mary be a blessing on this show instead of someone I will end up preferring dead.
1. It's the last year. This show is built on the Scott and Stiles bromance. Could we maybe please allow them to be in more than one scene every three episodes together? I need my bromance time.
2. More Team Parent, more Malia, more Coach. Let Liam and his JV squad fall in a well and stay there for the rest of the season. Better yet, make them the people who are forgotten. It will be the first time amnesia is a working plot point for me.
3. Girl power!!! Bring Kira back. Allow Lydia, Malia, and Kira to work together and kick some monster butt by joining their strengths together instead of sending them on separate plot diversions.
4. Don't hook Scott and Stiles up with anyone. At all. Focus on the teamwork not the romance.
5. Let's go for the gold here and end Teen Wolf off on a great note. That means one coherent plot for the entire season and episodes that are neither filler nor nonsensical.
6. No more flashback episodes.
7. Bring back or at least mention some favorites from former seasons…like Danny. Whatever happened to Danny? And no, this does NOT mean bringing Grandpa Evil or Kate back…unless you actually kill them by separating their heads from their bodies so they can never be resurrected again.
1. Have Liza tell Kelsey the truth before Kelsey learns on her own and it turns into a melodrama.
2. Let Diane stop being a frustrated woman who needs a man and allow her to reveal in her own awesomeness.
3. More Maggie.
4. Less love triangle.
5. Keep up the great guest stars and on point humor, none of which ever needs to go anywhere near bestiality again. That was a low point for the entire TV year.
This episode was overall just alright, but the action and the ending stepped it up a notch for me. After being put on “house” arrest Dr. Alder, Ramse, and Cassie manage to get free and organize a coup that includes Whitley, who has also lost his faith in Jones’ mission. They take over the machine, wanting to use it to travel directly to Titan’s location instead of going on foot – a much risker route with the red storm almost upon them. Cole manages to recruit Deacon, Jennifer, and the daughters to take back the machine. It is done fairly easily, however Jennifer is shot when Ramse deflects Deacon’s gun just as he is about to shoot him. Jennifer tells Cole to go get her 2016 self and bring her to 2044 so she can guide them since she is dying. When he returns with her, Old Jennifer says to her younger self she must lead her daughters now and tells her to be braver than she was. So Young Jennifer decides to guide her daughters on foot to Titan, since she knows a path to it. Ramse and Cassie go with them while Cole travels back to 1957 to stop the final paradox as originally planned by Jones. In the end, however, Cassie turns back and joins Cole on his mission. The storm then destroys the building the machine is in, killing Jones and others in the process, and leaving Cole and Cassie stranded in 1957.
Best Reason To Watch – It’s the final countdown, and there’s a lot going on.
Best Scene – The storm destroys the machine building and Cassie goes to Cole.
Best Goodbye – Jones thanking Cole for believing in her
Most Miserable Pity Party – Deacon drinking himself away, alone and naked in a corner
Oddest Interaction – Old Jennifer and young Jennifer (but it was a really good scene)
Worst Injury – Hannah slashes Deacon’s eye for shooting Jennifer
1. Ramse: “You’re not in charge anymore, lady.” Jones: “This is the second time you’ve pointed a gun at me Mr. Ramse. I assure you there won’t be a third.”
2. Jones: “The worst thing about betrayal is it never comes from our enemies.”
3. Jennifer: “Are you willing to let someone you love die for your mission? For the good of the world? Say it.” Cole: “I am.” Jennifer: “And when you do, never look back.”
It seems every season’s episode twelve of 12 Monkeys is going to be filled with tragedy and close moments between Cole and Cassie. Last season was the handholding, and this time it’s so much more. When it all ended I was so conflicted, but this episode was pretty great (despite a few frustrations I’ve had throughout the season still lingering here). I loved last year’s penultimate episode, and this one also didn’t disappoint. I really enjoy the ones that explore the characters’ emotions yet still have plenty of time for shocks and revelations. I so want to know who the Witness is – they were so close! And what now? With every future character we know dead (besides Cole), the machine gone, the paradox completed, Cole and Cassie stuck in the 50s, and Jennifer stuck in 2044, where can we go next? There’s no way the writers will leave so many characters we know dead (RIGHT?), so how are they going to be saved? We got answers, but they only led to more questions. This show continues to blow my mind with its complexity and unexpected revelations.
Best Reason To Watch – There’s more twists, and Cassie’s vision is finally pieced together in reality.
Best Scene – The ending with the slaughter at Titan/Cassie and Cole making love
Most Conflicting Emotionally – Cole and Cassie’s love scene was hot, but the slaughter of the team at Titan was terrible. Why writers? Why? Why’d you have to overlap those two scenes?
Most Disappointing – They couldn’t stop the paradox again! Come on! And the Titan events were a downer too, but they were warned there was nothing but death at Titan. Old Jennifer was right not to bring her Daughters there after all.
Most Intriguing – Why would Cassie have visions of Cole’s house? Is their “union” important? Hmmm I’m not sure I like the possibility that’s popping in my head right now. Nothing’s good when the 12 Monkeys are somehow involved.
Most Shocking – Charlie was the Messenger and he had fallen in love with the Primary. Now that’s a complicated relationship.
Deja Vu Award – Cole sitting by Cassie’s side while she’s in an coma and kissing her forehead while sniffling reminded me of when she died of the virus last season.
“Time Really Does Fly” Award – So, Cole and Cassie arrive in January 1957. The paradox is in November. Cassie is in an coma for 6-7 months, searches for Cole for another 6 months…or was it a year? I may have lost track. So much time has passed. They’ll be 40 in no time at all. Yikes.
“Time To Praise The Bosses” Award – Thank heavens this show was renewed ‘cause with what happened at Titan, having 2x13 as the series finale would have been a nightmare.
1. Hannah: “This is how you lead?” Jennifer: “Uh, spoiler alert: I’m not wise old me, am I? And if I’m being frank, my daughters are a**holes! Knife fights, ridiculous eye shadow and serious, serious mommy issues. And the worst part is, you’re all I have to look forward to in my retirement. So much for backgammon and Palm Springs.”
2. Cole: “What are you doing here?” Cassie: “What are you doing here?” Cole: “The house? It's mine. I bought it.” Cassie: “Why this house?” Cole: “I was driving by, saw the for sale sign.”
3. Cole: “Cass. I know you can’t hear me…I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I couldn’t stop it. The best thing that can happen now…is for you to wake up…and forget you ever knew me.”
Wow! What a finale. We start off with domestic bliss at Christmas time and end with a nightmare prediction of mine - which of course, came true. I noticed the hints this season, but still… Anyway, as usual with the last half of this season, a lot happened in this episode. Cole and Cassie got big happy news, but Cole soon also gets really bad news from a Primary named Lillian. The Red Forest has not been stopped and time is still collapsing. Cole’s forced to choose between his blooming family in the 50s and saving the world, and he selflessly chooses the world (though really, if you think about it, it was the only way to save any future child’s retirement and grandchildren). Jones is therefore saved from death, and spends a year being kick butt in order to protect the machine’s facility all by herself. Unfortunately, Cassie’s forgotten her time in the 60s with Cole, but later some memories are triggered, so all is mostly well there. Cole, Jones, and Cassie travel to Titan using the machine and save everyone there except Deacon who dies saving Jennifer (it’s only fair – he did kill her older self) during the fight with the 12 Monkeys. In the chaos, Ramse is saved by a mystery man who brings him to Olivia, and she tells him that she has Sam. Jennifer accidently is zapped away by Titan’s core (Titan itself is a time travel machine too!) to 1917 France during the war. How will she ever get back to 2016? Cassie meanwhile, is kidnapped and taken to the 12 Monkeys stadium in the far future and meets the Pallid Man again, who reveals said worst nightmare. We end with Cole going after Cassie, and everything a wreck again. The writers sure love their cliffhangers. Good thing we have a season 3 because this one made for a great season finale, but would have made a terrible series finale.
Best Reason To Watch – We finally find out who the Witness is and there’s a great balance between character development and action.
Best Scene – Cassie is brought to the future; Cole takes the time travel tea and stops the final paradox
Least Helpful – Primaries are awfully bad at warning people. But I guess it’s not entirely their fault since no one ever listens to them.
Least Surprising – Cole and Cassie’s future child is the Witness. I can’t say I wasn’t in denial though, right up until the reveal.
Most Heartbreaking – Cole’s goodbye to his life in the 50s. That was all he ever wanted? Tear my heart out why don’t you? And that musical cue was stunning.
Most In Need Of Paint – Cole and Cassie’s home
Most Normal/Sweet Scene – Cole and Cassie celebrating Christmas
“Welcome Back” Award – Madeleine Stowe, who played Railly in the 12 Monkeys movie. And I’m pretty sure Jones’ new dog, Charlie, is the same one Cole and Ramse didn’t shoot last season.
1. Lillian: “Some happiness is better than a lifetime of anything else. Death can be undone, James. Love cannot.”
2. Cassie: “Where is the Witness?” Pallid Man: “He's safe. One of two travelers outside of time. You brought him here, Cassandra. The Witness is here... Mother.”
3. Cassie: “I just want you to feel how I feel.” Cole: “I do. I just had to get my mind around it. Believe me, there’s nothing I’ve ever wanted more than this.”
4. Cole: “Hey Jennifer... I'm Cole.” Jennifer: “Are you real Cole?” Cole: “Listen, I'm sorry I can't stick around, but do me a favor. From this point forward don't ever call me otter eyes again.”
This episode has turned war into a swashbuckling adventure, but I don't mind, since it also takes care to show the consequences of it. But the real fun begins when it delves into deceit and trickery. For once the embellishments the show likes to add to the story in the book work out very well, making for a very engaging watch during which a lot of puzzle pieces suddenly fall into place. When I read the books, I actually didn't expect the attack in Paris to turn up again that late in the game, and I always felt that the solution was a little bit forced, but here it feels way more warranted in the story, since it is treated as just another chess piece in the complicated game of minds Claire and Sandringham play.
Best Reason to Watch - It's a delightful little chess match between two smart opponents
Best Scene - The final confrontation
Best Character - Thanks to some really good acting, the Duke of Sandringham is a way more delightful villain than in the book.
Most Darkly Funny - Murtagh presenting Claire and Mary the head of Sandringham
Best Visual - The falling wig in the beginning summons up the episode perfectly
Most Romantic - Jamie's heartfelt prayer
Best Costume - Again Sandringham, especially the way his wig is used.
Best Music - The score in the last scene adds perfectly to the excitement
1. Jamie: "God shield my beloved, my white dove. And the child that she may one day bear. Preserve her from violence and from harm. In this place and every place. On this night and on every night."
2. Claire: "Am I not Lady Broch Tuarach? Aren't these men not my responsibility, too?"
I wonder what would have happened if the Highland army had marched forward to London. Alas, it is not the intent of Outlander to rewrite history, so now everyone is in a state of gloom and doom. This part of the episode works very well, but having the death of Colum so late in the game destroys the symbolic meaning it originally had. In the book the passing of a frail man with a strategic mind lead to the reign of a strong man with a one-track mind, which leads the clan to its destruction by agreeing to join Prince Charles. But at least it explains how Claire knows about the fate of Geilis' child better than the book did. Alas, I am kind of annoyed how the show reshaped the circumstances which lead to the deal between Claire and Randall, making him a less layered character in the process, and inserting her into a pact, in which she had no business to be. Honestly, what is the point of the discussion with Murtagh? As established in the first season and mentioned here again, she knows when Randall will die, and he himself knows it, too, because she told him. All the drama around what he might do to Mary is therefore totally pointless, especially since the audience knows what he will do. After all, the timeline has to be preserved, right?
Best Reason to Watch - There are some really compelling character studies to enjoy
Best Scene - Dougal realizing that Colum is dead
Most Ambiguous - Did Dougal intend to kill his brother after all?
Best Visual - Randall and Mary standing on the sides of Alex's bed
Most Strange - Having a marriage in front of a dying man
Best Character - It's a tie between Dougal and Colum
Best Costume - Colum's deathbed clothes somehow still have a commanding air to them.
Most Shocking - Randall beating Alex Corpse
Most Perspective - Colum, naturally, who can read his brother and Jamie like an open book.
1. Dougal: "It grieves me to see you so well, brother."
2. Colum: "My brother, I have lived my life crippled in body, and he has lived his crippled in mind."
After all the built up in the previous episodes, the jump forward to Claire's present kind of takes the drive out of the story. I also had quite a problem getting used to the casting of Brianna, since her most mentioned feature in the book is her unusual height for a woman, and the actress is everything but that, being noticeable smaller than Claire. But I guess it is better to put all the tedious research Claire does at the beginning of the episode, and it has the additional advantage of being able to show how the battle is seen today in contrast of the slaughter it actually was. Not that there is much shown of the actual battle. The show sidesteps it quite expertly, which kind of begs the question why it was necessary to make this one longer. It allows the story to breathe for once, but I question the wisdom of spending so much time on the part of the book which is basically a lot of exposition and set-up for the next one.
Best Reason to Watch - The feels!!!
Best Scene - Predictably the heartfelt goodbye between Claire and Jamie.
Best Character - Roger is instantly likable
Best Visual - Jamie's and Claire's hands on the stone
Worst Hair - The attempts to age Claire up aren't really convincing, but the white streaks look the most unnatural.
Best Costume - Brianna's "young student" outfit. A good reminder that she is from a different, more modern generation.
Best Music - The swelling score while the sun rises behind the stones
1. Jamie: "Tell him I am grateful. Tell him I trust him. Tell him I hate him to the very marrow of his bones."
So what are your wishlist items for your favorite shows?