Holy crap, I’m pretty sure this is the longest list of reviews I’ve ever done. Joining the list this week is Almost Human, a futuristic cop drama and, thanks FOX, they aired two episodes, bringing the week’s total to 14 reviews. Now that might sound like a lot and it is, but luckily it won’t be this bad for many weeks, some of these shows, like Haven, are nearing their season finale and, of course, next week is Thanksgiving so I’ll get a bit of a break there, especially since the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special airs next week. There’s no rest for the wicked, I guess. Let’s begin.
Arrow #2×06 – “Keep Your Enemies Closer” – We’ve known for a long time that Diggle and his military contractor contact Lyla were terribly flirtatious, every time they’re in the same shot, they’re hitting on each other. Now we know why. Roy puts out the Arrow signal and Felicity breaks up a corporate fight between Oliver and Isabel to let him know. Roy has been spying on criminal counterfeiters and is checking out a deal when Arrow shows up behind him. Roy totally knew he was there. Sure he did, tell us another one Roy. Arrow and Diggle take out the counterfeiters but as the police arrive, they capture Roy in their sweep. He tries to explain, but what is he supposed to say, he’s a spy for a wanted vigilante? Roy is trying to be discrete and Officer Lance is sort of on board so that when Thea shows up to bail him out, Lance lets him go. Diggle, however, was captured during the chase and was taken by some special forces types to meet with Amanda Waller, who works for ARGUS. She tells him that Lyla was captured while on a mission in Russia and they want him to go spring her. Of course, he wants to help, but why should he help ARGUS? Because they know all about his activities with Oliver, of course. Besides, Lyla was looking into the activities of Floyd Laughton, the infamous Deadshop that Diggle has been hunting since last season. That’s all it took, he’s in. We get another news story about Star Labs and their particle accelerator. That’s a Flash precursor for early December. Diggle goes back and tells Oliver he needs a couple of days off. Oliver asks why and he tells them about Lyla and Deadshot and… oh yeah, he used to be married to Lyla so it’s personal. Oliver says he owes Diggle and he and Felicity are going to help. They head out to the airfield where they meet up with Isabel who is upset that Oliver is sneaking off to some international party and tells them she’s going along. After all, there’s a Queen Consolidated facility in Moscow they ought to tour, why not? Isabel thinks that Felicity and Oliver are sleeping together, what other explanation could there be for her meteoric rise in prominence in the company? Oliver says they’re just friends but I don’t think that’s what Felicity wants. Oliver and Diggle get together with Anatoli Knyazev who tells them that Lyla is in a Russian gulag. For some reason she was trying to break in but had no real plan for getting out. Anatoli says he has a friend who is a guard there, someone is going to have to go into the gulag as a prisoner and will have to be at a certain place at a certain time to get out, otherwise they’ll be trapped there forever. Diggle volunteers to go. They gather a lot of drugs for him to be caught with and give him a jacket equipped with an explosive device. Diggle ends up exactly where he wants and the mission begins. Anatoli and Oliver try to buy a police van for Diggle’s extraction but the Russian doesn’t like the offer until Oliver whispers something in his ear in Russian and he turns over the keys. We don’t know what he said but it had to be good. Back in Starling City, Thea is visited by her mother’s lawyer who tells her that it doesn’t look good to be dating an ex-felon. Thea makes some really bad excuses and breaks up with Roy. Diggle, meanwhile, is getting the lay of the land. While talking with another inmate about which prisoners to avoid and his guard contact, he is attacked by prisoners making sure Diggle knows the pecking order. He is dragged away and put into an industrial freezer for 7 hours as a punishment and there he meets Deadshot, also a prisoner at the gulag! So that’s why Lyla tried to break in! Deadshot can’t figure out why Diggle hasn’t forgiven him for killing his brother, but he also knows why Diggle is here. Diggle gets taken out of the freezer by his contact, but on the way to Lyla’s cell, Deadshot plunges an icicle into his back and makes Diggle a deal. If he can find Lyla, Diggle has to agree to help Deadshot escape. Oliver and Isabel are drinking at a bar, he’s trying to be nice to her and she’s not making it easy. It seems that Isabel grew up in Russia and had a very lonely childhood. In fact, it seems that she has a lot in common with Oliver and after he speaks some Russian to her, she gets turned on and they head back to his hotel room for some quick sex. Felicity knocks on the door, reminding Oliver that they have somewhere to be, just as Isabel leaves and you can see the hurt in Felicity’s eyes. Diggle and Deadshot find Lyla, just as the bomb in Diggle’s coat goes off, killing a bunch of Russian guards. Deadshot gets his glowing eye back and they fight off the remaining guards, just as Oliver and Anatoli arrive to help. They all drive until they’re a safe distance away, then Diggle stops the van and tells Deadshot to get out. He threatens to shoot Deadshot but has too much honor to do so. Deadshot tells him that his brother wasn’t accidentally killed, he was the target all along and he was hired by a group called H.I.V.E. They arrive back in the U.S., somehow Isabel hasn’t noticed they picked up an extra person in Russia, and she heads back to work. Diggle and Lyla end up in bed together, at least until she needs to be debriefed by ARGUS and Diggle tries to search for H.I.V.E. on Bing. Seriously? Bing? Thea heads out to visit her mother and finds Roy already there. She says she knows what her lawyer did and she’s very unhappy about it, Thea really needs Roy and she forbids her from breaking up with him. Our weekly flashback begins with Sara visiting Oliver’s cage and begging him not to reveal that they know each other or they’ll both be killed. She breaks him out of his cell and, after promising to return to get Anatoli out as well, they go to find the radio room. They are able to reach Shado and Slade on the island, who survived the bombardment although Slade was badly injured, but it’s all a trap. Sara squealed on Oliver and now they threaten to put him right back on the island. There are lots of new developments here, lots of new secrets being revealed. Who knew that Diggle and Lyla were once married? It’s clear they still have feelings for each other, why is he so opposed to rekindling their relationship? What’s up with Isabel? Now we know that it wasn’t just a hostile takeover of Queen Consolidated, she actually wants to save the company, but why? Does she really have something for Oliver or was it just quick “what happens in Russia stays in Russia” sex? And what of Felicity? Clearly she feels more than friendship for Oliver. We also saw a lot of new DC comic references, from Amanda Waller and ARGUS to H.I.V.E. Damn, I love this show.
Atlantis #1×08 – “The Furies” – After a couple of good episodes that gave me reason to think Atlantis was improving, here we go back to square one with a clear filler episode that means nothing and is largely boring. After Hercules offers to take a load of gold, an unwilling bridegroom and his mute manservant, a mysterious woman and a man who knows entirely too much about the desert to Helios, not a whole lot happens. We meet up with Pythagoras’ heretofore unmentioned brother Arcas, who impresses the heck out of Hercules but really, doesn’t mean a thing to anyone else, especially Pythagoras, who is both a bit nervous around Arcas, as well as being generally disappointed that Arcas insists on living in the past. Anyhow, Arcas invites himself along on the journey, but he has an ulterior motive that we don’t see until later, even though it’s something easily called within minutes of the episode’s beginning. The bridegroom, Philemon, is headed off to Helios to meet his prospective bride, taking along a gift of gold for his bride’s family and his mute servant has a dark past that’s never explored, he’s a convicted murderer, something which Arcas takes immediate exception to, but Philemon vouches for him and what is anyone going to do, it’s Philemon’s family that’s paying for the trip in the first place. The woman, Baukis, dresses like a lady of means but clearly is not used to playing the part, something that Hercules points out from the very beginning and repeats every few minutes until Pythagoras wants to smack him in the head. The mysterious woman, Baukis, isn’t anything special either. Shes’ a common thief. At one point, she rides off on Hercules’ horse, apparently stealing all of the golden treasure, but Jason had swapped it to keep it safe and when they find her again, almost dying of thirst, instead of leaving her at the mercy of the desert, Philemon offers to allow her to ride with him. At the heart of the story is Arcas, Pythagoras’ brother, who has an intense burning hatred of whoever killed their father. In fact, he seethes with it, but we’re given the impression that the event happened a very long time ago and he’s just never stopped wanting the death of whoever did it. They travel through the desert, which is an extremely boring place during the day, but at night becomes quite hostile and they’re forced to take shelter in a network of caves that, legend has it, are the home of the Furies, the Roman Goddess of vengeance, usually envisioned as three sisters, Alecto, Tisiphone and Magaera, whose job is tormenting evildoers in the underworld. That’s not quite how they operate here though, in this episode they are depicted as almost mindless forces of nature that will hunt down, attack and destroy any target set before them by a man with sufficient hatred in his heart. That man, of course, is Arcas, who commands the Furies to seek out whoever killed his father and exact vengeance most cruel against them. He thinks, quite shallowly, that the mute manservant must be that killer because, well, he’s a killer and he came from the same town that Arcas’ father was killed in, which clearly makes him guilty. I guess that town only ever had a single killer in it. Anyhow, it’s not the servant, it turns out to be Pythagoras, who accidentally killed his own father while trying to stop him from attacking his mother in a drunken rage. Of course, this doesn’t matter to Arcas, he just wants the murderer punished and if it happens to be his own brother, so be it. The Furies are depicted as windstorms, swirling towers of dust that can carry people around and generally be destructive but they’re honestly not at all impressive or interesting. They’re also not very intelligent, the group stops in some caves and the Furies can’t figure out how to get at Pythagoras. Even when Hercules injures his back in a fall and begs Pythagoras and Jason not to leave him, Pythagoras wanders out into the storm to accept his fate and Jason tries to reason with him, leaving Hercules there in a heap. Arcas has already taken off across the desert, with Philemon, Baukis and their guide chasing after him, begging him to reconsider and call off the Furies. I guess the manservant was there too, but what’s he going to say, he’s mute. Finally, as Pythagoras is about to be killed by the Furies, Arcas comes back and asks, half-heartedly, for him to be released because he’s been forgiven, but Arcas has to really mean it in his heart and at first he does not, but in the end, he relents, forgives Pythagoras and the Furies evaporate. They all reach Helios and Hercules, amazingly healed without a scratch, is excited to collect their reward, but Philemon has decided that he’s in love with Baukis and therefore there will be no wedding. Hercules, Pythagoras and Jason don’t even make a penny for all of their troubles, they have to take the load of gold back across the desert to Atlantis. And what of Arcas? He’s going off on his own to make a life for himself. It’s not like we wanted to add another recurring character, did we? The whole bit with Philemon and Baukis was ridiculous, they didn’t share enough scenes together to make them falling in love credible. These characters had virtually no backstory and no chemistry, they were just pieces that got moved around on screen to get our heroes into position, then they wander off to places unknown because they just don’t matter. The only thing we walk away from this episode with is the knowledge that Pythagoras has a brother, that he accidentally killed his father and that it’s almost certain that none of these things will ever be mentioned again. Oh, Atlantis, you were doing so well too.
Almost Human #1×01 – “Pilot” – Okay, first things first. Fox was supposed to air this episode last week on it’s regular day of Monday, but instead, they decided to put it on the following Sunday so they could have a two-episode blitz over two days. I guess that’s not a big deal, but last week I had a bit of a lull, a couple of shows took the week off and it would have been great to add a new show, but no, they had to pile it all on the heaviest week on record. Thanks Fox. This is a new series by J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman, the creators of Fringe and while the last season of Fringe sucked, it was still one of my favorite shows for a while there so I have some high expectations from Almost Human. I’m trying not to hold it to too high a standard but it’s hard not to, given it’s pedigree. I also have no idea how J.J. Abrams talked Karl Urban, a veteran movie actor who has never helmed a TV show, into taking the lead role. It’s not that I think Urban can’t handle it, I love his acting, I just always think of movie actors viewing TV as a step down and since he’s been in, and apparently still going to be in major movies, how is he going to schedule it all in? Anyhow, the story. The year is 2048 and Detective John Kennex, a veteran Los Angeles cop is extremely uncomfortable with the new police rules that require them to partner up with an artificially intelligent android. After all, his father didn’t do that, his grandfather didn’t do that, why should he? We see a flashback to a case two years earlier that turned into a massive battle where his team, including his human partner, is killed and he loses a leg. He spends 17 months in a coma and is put into rehab for another 5 months, during which he undergoes black market treatments to help him remember details about the fight so that he can hunt down the group that killed his partner. He’s also been fitted with a new artificial leg but he hates it and doesn’t take care of it. I guess Kennex has a good reason to hate synthetics, his first partner, a model 785, refuses to accept his orders and help him to get his injured partner out of harm’s way. He blames the android for his partner’s death and therefore doesn’t trust synthetics. Kennex realizes that his old life is gone, he finds a video mail from his ex-girlfriend who vanished nearly 700 days before. He’s not sure what to do, but, the captain, Maldonado, calls him back to service and, of course, requires him to take on an android partner. His first partner, another 785, is completely by-the-book and threatens to report John for suffering a minor blackout so he shoves the android out of his patrol car at high speed. Because he cannot work without an android partner, he goes to Rudy, who is responsible for issuing partners and together they look through older models until they come to the last DRN model, an android that had been decommissioned from the police force and is scheduled to head into space to work on the space station. John reluctantly accepts this new partner, named Dorian, although he’s clearly not warming up to him quickly, he keeps calling him “synthetic” which seems to hurt Dorian’s feelings. See, the DRN series was designed to be emotional, to react as a human does and to see things both intellectually and emotionally, something the 785’s can’t do. Kennex is sent to investigate a robbery where a cop has been kidnapped and there he finds a man, shot in the leg, who might have ties to a terrorist group. Dorian realizes that the man must have shot himself in the leg and the man admits that he’s worked with the terrorists but now he wants protective custody and he gives the location that the cop, Vogel, is being held. They get to the address and find a complex series of tripwires that lead to a glass cage containing Vogel. It gets triggered and Vogel is killed by a programmable genetic poison. Vogel’s android partner has been badly damaged, but Dorian is surprisingly useful. Vogel is infected by a rash and John wants to get a sample and send it down to the crime lab, Dorian simply extracts a blood sample, injects it into himself and transmits the results automatically to Rudy. The man who shot himself wasn’t really there to turn himself in, he fakes an illness and gets into the bathroom where he plants an electronic device. It turns out that the same terrorist group that had injured John in the first place is apparently still active and has some nefarious plans. John thinks that the secret to stopping them is buried somewhere in his subconscious so he goes back to his black market contacts and insists that they perform more invasive and dangerous procedures to help him remember every last detail about the group. When they do, he remembers seeing his ex-girlfriend among them and realizes she was working for them all along. Luckily, Dorian comes along and saves his life but they need more information about the most recent attack and Vogel’s synthetic has been ruined beyond the ability of the 785s to decipher, but Dorian’s processor is built to make connections that the more rational MX androids cannot and by examining the last of the memory circuits, they realize that the terrorists, called the Syndicate, are after something in the police department’s evidence lockup. John calls Maldonado and tells her to lock down the precinct, but the terrorists are already on site and they trigger an EMP bomb of sorts that shuts down all of the 785s, but Dorian, being an older model, runs on a different frequency and isn’t affected. Someone from the Syndicate gets into the precinct, thinking that with all the 785s gone, it will be a cake walk, but John and Dorian end up capturing him. Maldonado is going through every single object in the massive evidence lockup, but it turns out that what the Syndicate was after was a female synthetic head. Afterwards, John and Dorian get into the car and Dorian gets permission to call him John, apparently he’s started to warm to his almost human partner. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this show, it just seemed to be in my wheelhouse and I thought that was enough to give it a shot. It’s set about 35 years in the future and almost immediately, I started wondering why most things looked like the same kind of things we have today. The cars are almost identical, although I did spot some flying cars here and there. The guns look almost the same, although they don’t really operate that way. Are we supposed to think that not much has changed in 35 years? After all, they have artificial intelligence, that’s a radical advancement, why should the buildings all look the same? I know it’s prohibitively expensive to redesign every single element in the show but still, it stuck out in my mind. I’m glad this is a serious show, I was almost afraid it would turn into a modern version of Holmes and Yoyo (which I’m still looking for if anyone has a copy of it!), but that’s luckily not the case, they’re playing it straight and not for laughs and so far, I think it has a lot of potential. It’s a good idea with a good cast, I’ll give it some time to see if it becomes great or if it flops. J.J. Abrams name on the property is enough for me to keep tuning in.
Almost Human #1×02 – “Skin” – Wow, seems like I just did one of these, probably because I just did. This is the second episode of Fox’s new show Almost Human which aired the day after the last episode reviewed above. Thanks Fox. In the world of 2048, prostitution is legal, but apparently only for robotic sex companions. Granted, I don’t think they’ve said real women can’t do it, but they haven’t said they could either. Sebastian Jones has hired one of the highest high-tech sexbots in the industry, but he’s not interested in a good time, he wants to learn everything he can about the construction and programming of the bot before his time is up, but the bot’s owners don’t like that much, in fact, it makes them kill Jones in cold blood. Maybe he should have read the fine print. The pair of pimps who put a couple of slugs in Jones also set off a DNA bomb in the room to erase all data before taking their bot with them. There are cameras everywhere but no one can see who the pimps are because they’re wearing special masks that erase their identity to the cameras. Kennex and Dorian show up but have very little to work with, all of the evidence is gone and nobody knows who owned the bot. All sexbots have to be registered but apparently, this one isn’t. We spend a lot of time this episode getting to know John’s quirks, such as he doesn’t deal well with children and he doesn’t like cats because he’s allergic. Dorian makes a lot of fun of him, suggesting that he ought to make an online dating profile for John so he might get laid. It even gets to the point where Dorian is scanning John’s physical health and John has to tell him “You’re scanning my balls? Don’t scan my testicles! Ever again.” John and Dorian head over to interview Sebastian’s former partner who had filed copyright infringement suits against Sebastian for copying his sexbot designs, pretty much the same thing he was doing when he was killed. The ex-partner could only tell them that Sebastian, a once extremely successful robotics designer, went bankrupt because his biggest clients, a group of Albanians, had cancelled their contract because they were going to make their own sexbots. John’s reaction to the artificial women walking around the place helped to encourage Dorian that John really needs to get laid. This also pointed them in another direction and they try to locate the Albanians. It turns out that the sexbot had left human DNA traces as she left the hotel and that’s supposed to be illegal. No sexbot, or any android, is supposed to integrate human DNA. It turns out that the DNA left belonged to a woman who went missing a couple of months before. Just then, another abduction happens, this time a young mother who is grabbed in a parking structure, leaving her young son Victor behind. This gives John the perfect opportunity to prove he’s not bad around kids, which he does, charming Victor with a highly-realistic giraffe toy on his desk. Victor tells them the color of the car and they head out looking for the missing woman. They encounter Yuri, one of the Albanians who owns a local nightclub. John and Dorian make sure that none of his bots have human DNA, using a device that extracts cells from the inside of their mouths. Valerie, the police tech expert, has located the car, based on Victor’s description, but the car has special scrambler plates that change every time the car passes a scanner. By switching to just cameras, they’re able to follow the car and capture those inside, including Vanessa, a sexbot whose skin is made from human DNA. The others will say nothing but she’s willing, just unable to understand what’s going on. John keeps asking who owns her and she’s unfamiliar with the concept until Dorian sets him straight. Vanessa doesn’t think in terms of being an android, she thinks she’s alive, but once they understand each other, she incriminates Yuri. They find the remains of the sexbot we saw at the beginning of the episode, she’s had her flesh stripped and her data core destroyed so that she couldn’t lead police back to her creator. This leads John and Dorian to conclude that the manufacturers are harvesting living skin from women to make their sex androids more realistic. In examining the destroyed sexbot, Dorian realizes that one of the chips they are using was discontinued after the discovery of a fatal flaw, when they updated their programming, they also sent out a GPS signal for anyone who knew how to look. They have Rudy plug Vanessa into his computer and read out the first place her GPS signal was ever recorded, this must be where she was created. With the flesh lab finally located, John and Dorian arrive, just after the scientists have run for the hills, trying to destroy the lab in the process. Some of the women that had been kidnapped were dead but Victor’s mother survived and is soon reunited with her son. Dorian, however, has become fond of Vanessa, but he’s told that since it is illegal for any android with human DNA to exist, she has to be destroyed. Actually, since it’s just the skin, can’t they just replace it? Anyhow, he says a tearful goodbye to Vanessa as she’s deactivated. We see that John and Valerie have some sort of bond and might have gone out on a date, had Dorian not made a joke about John’s online dating profile. He offers to try to set them up but John has somewhere else to be. He goes to see the widow of his old partner and offers to tell their son about his father. Now that I’ve seen two episodes of this show, I really like it. I’m not sure if the name of the show is supposed to refer to Dorian or to John. In some ways, Dorian is a lot more human than John is, he’s great around people, he understands how to relate to them, often moreso than John. John is still traumatized by the death of his partner and by his artificial leg and as much as we’re supposed to think that Dorian is learning how to be a better android from John, John is going to learn to be a better human from Dorian. That’s a great idea. I’m still a bit underwhelmed by the environment though. The cars look very similar to modern-day cars, the buildings look very similar to modern-day buildings, and still having GPS 35 years in the future? It comes off as a bit goofy. I’m sure it’s just a matter of finances but I’d like to see them say something about why the world hasn’t changed much, when most of what we do today looks nothing like the world of 35 years ago. It doesn’t take much, just a line or two.
Castle #6×09 – “Disciple” – Okay, you should realize going into this that I hate the kind of perfect serial killer in this episode, I hated it the last time 3XK was around, I hate it on every show it’s done on, it’s just an absurdly common trope on these detective shows that I hate with a burning passion. Thought you ought to know. We start off with a guard on a private dock doing his rounds. After scaring away a bum, he sees a woman at the end of the pier, but after repeated warnings, she doesn’t respond. He finds that she’s strung up, her feet not quite touching the ground. It’s a murder. Of course it’s a murder, if nobody got murdered, we wouldn’t have a show, would we? When Castle and Beckett show up, arguing over where they should have their honeymoon, they discover that Lanie is very upset and looking at the corpse, they find out why, the corpse looks almost identical to Lanie. They pass it off as a coincidence until Lanie starts to find similarities that are too much to ignore, this is a person who has tried to look exactly like Lanie. They find out that the woman is a former prostitute who, within the last few months, has located a mysterious benefactor and moved into an upscale apartment. It’s discovered that the woman had plastic surgery done and they go to interview the surgeon, who turns out to be extremely vain and keeps offering to perform surgery on Beckett. Lanie talks to Esposito but she says that she can’t think of anyone who would want to hurt her or any reason to duplicate her. Only Esposito should know about a recent tattoo which the woman also shared, then Lanie remembers a night a couple of months before where she had passed out at a bar and awoken at her place. Maybe someone drugged her and took her home and examined her. Castle and Beckett had discovered a digital camera at the victim’s place but it had only tourist photos until the tech discovered a deleted photo that showed the victim in front of a boat in the marina. They located the boat and Ryan and Esposito take a team to check it out, but inside they find the body of Daniel Santos, a former male stripper who looks exactly like Esposito. Something is going on here. Now Lainey is really worried, who is creating these doppelgangers and who is next? Ryan and Esposito go to Daniel’s apartment where they run into a neighbor who clearly had a crush on him. This neighbor didn’t even flinch when they let drop that Daniel was dead in the middle of the conversation, not sure if that means anything down the line or not. The neighbor does tell them that she saw Daniel leave in a limo with a distinctive blue neon around the license plate and from that, they’re able to trace that it delivered Daniel to the office of the plastic surgeon that had done the work on the first victim, Pam. Dr. Kelly Nieman says that she was having a relationship with Daniel and, in fact, he’s the one that had referred Pam to her. Kelly says she’s obviously being framed for crimes she didn’t commit. Beckett thinks Kelly is guilty but Castle isn’t so sure. He says that the only person who would have the resources, the skills and the desire to do all of this was their old enemy 3XK, who last we knew, was dead. They go down to the police archives to see if there’s any link between the victims and 3XK, but when they arrive, all of the evidence has been checked out by Esposito. Clearly, he didn’t really do it, but they check the medical records and find them all gone too, checked out by Lainey. Doing a little more detective work, they find that their killer must be Carl Matthews, the guard at the private pier who was actually linked to other identical murders in Florida, and he happens to be staying in the same seedy motel, in the same room, where they once housed 3XK. Beckett and the team go up to arrest Carl, but he’s already outside and Castle tackles him. Carl readily admits that he killed Pam and Daniel. He’s an admirer of 3XK and wants to emulate him. Castle asks if 3XK is alive but Daniel says no. Ryan discovers that Dr. Kelly knew 3XK in prison and was likely his girlfriend. They call her but there is no answer, they rush to her office and where there was once a bustling business, now there’s an empty office space. She left a note on her desk saying “Better Luck Next Time” along with one of her customized pens. It turns out that it’s a flash drive and Castle discovers a song which plays “We’ll meet again…” Now, as much as I hate the super serial killer concept, I have to admit that this episode was really, really well done. Is 3XK back or is it just his girlfriend, trained in his techniques, trying to get back at Castle and Beckett? I honestly hope that Jerry Tyson is gone, after all, Beckett says there’s no way anyone could survive the fall he took, it’s bad enough that these magical serial killers are so perfect and so far ahead of everyone, to have them be superhuman too? That’s just too much. Much better to have a completely different killer, Kelly, for a couple of episodes. 3xK’s story is told, time for something new. I don’t know that I’m looking forward to it, but this is different enough that I’m sure I won’t hate it too much, so long as it’s not a carbon copy of what’s come before.
Dracula #1×04 – “From Darkness to Light” – In the last episode, Lady Jayne says that, now that the seers are dead, there’s nothing to stop other vampires from coming to London. Yup, here they come. Jayne kills two of them on a train in one of the worst lit fights ever, but a third, Josef, survives and ends up at Grayson manner. As Lady Jayne looks over the corpses, she surmises that these are far too young to be much trouble, she’s looking for a much older vampire, their sire, who may be too powerful for any of them to control or kill. Josef is one of Dracula’s older sires, they’ve been long-time partners and friends and Grayson invites Josef to stay in his manor for as long as he wants. Renfield is not happy about this, especially when Josef turns out to be less than discrete about his feeding habits, killing a favorite maid who Renfield very much liked. Josef finally makes the connection apparent, he thinks Mina is the reincarnation of Dracula’s wife. He’s also none too happy that Grayson is literally sleeping with the enemy, he thinks they should kill Lady Jayne but Grayson points out that if they did, the Order of the Dragon would just replace her with someone they have absolutely no control over. Better to take her out of the picture by being part of her inner circle. Grayson is helping Jonathan and Mina plan their engagement party, leaving all of the organizating to Lucy. Van Helsing has also been improving his drug that is supposed to make it possible for Grayson to walk in sunlight. It seems promising at first, the only real issue is that Grayson’s heart doesn’t beat, therefore it cannot circulate the drug around his body. After Grayson stands Lady Jayne up for dinner at the Savoy, she dumps him, but he’s not surprised. Her actions are “annoyingly predictable,” he tells her that “You take pleasure in asserting domination over men, but soon grow bored. You tried that with me, and it failed. Failure to dominate me let you to be infatuated with me, and that threatens your dominance.” All of that is likely accurate, that’s the kind of person Lady Jayne is and it probably would have ended up with them in bed had her date for the evening not made a timely entrance just then. Josef was watching and he wants to kill Lady Jayne. Grayson is not all that happy with her right now and tells him to make her scream. He stalks her and enters her bedroom, intent on killing her, but Grayson is there and he attacks his old friend, rolling around on the floor and waking Lady Jayne. She wakes up and does what vampire hunters do, beheading Josef into an explosion of ash. She is impressed that Grayson tried to save her and they end up in a bath together, to wash off the vampire ash, and then in bed. It seems that Jayne is becoming more and more attached to Grayson all the time and this may be part of his plan. Meanwhile, Mina becomes concerned that Grayson is far too involved in the relationship between herself and Jonathan. He tells her that Grayson is responsible for them getting back together. Lucy is depressed over the upcoming nuptials and Mina can’t figure out why. It seems Lucy is in love with Mina, which I presume wouldn’t fly any more than the last gay relationship we saw in the show. Lady Jayne and Browning agree that Josef was the vampire they were seeking and they can relax. They don’t suspect, at least openly, that there is a yet older vampire in their midst. In the end, Browning and Davenport meet with some military commanders and want to know why their forces haven’t invaded the Ottoman Empire to secure their oil reserves. One of them, Ogilvy, makes some excuse, but Browning has him garroted and then turns to his former second-in-command, Shaw, and asks him the same question. Shaw says that he’ll make sure the invasion happens, as Browning suggests. I wasn’t really on board with Josef, he was too much of an animal for my tastes, especially in this world where Dracula is a seeming good guy, or at the very least an anti-hero. I’m glad he’s gone but it is interesting how Grayson used him to get even closer to Lady Jayne. We also see Mina find Van Helsing’s secret vampire lab. I don’t know how much she knows, but you can bet she’ll be in the vampire club sooner or later, if not being a vampire then at least knowing about them. And is she really the reincarnated wife of Dracula? I guess time will tell.
Elementary #2×08 – “Blood Is Thicker” – I will admit that I’ve been a little less than enthusiastic about Mycroft, I think he’s served more as a distraction than as a welcome addition to the show, he doesn’t really provide Sherlock with anything he really needs to solve crimes, he’s just there to remind him that he has a family. That’s not necessarily bad but it’s not necessarily good either. It’s just… there. This week, we see Sherlock and Mycroft fencing on the roof of Sherlock’s building, with eggs attached to their masks. Sherlock whacks Mycroft, breaking his egg. Mycroft reminds Sherlock that he’d promised to attend the opening of Mycroft’s restaurant, Diogenes but Sherlock says he was busy with a case. He promises to show up for dinner tonight. A guy makes a delivery and there’s a rather loud thump that comes from his truck but he decides it’s nothing and drives away, but there’s a dead woman on top of his truck with a rather nasty wound in her side. However, a woman along the route sees the body and calls it in. The driver is not too swift since he didn’t notice anything was wrong as he was delivering packages, despite the paint chips covering everything that Sherlock uses to work out where the woman hitched a ride, or the rather large dent in the top of the truck that should have been a dead giveaway. Heading back to the apartment complex, Watson sees a discrepancy on the third floor and they discover a room with blood on the floor and a tree pushed over on the balcony, clearly where the victim went over the edge. It turns out that nobody knows who she is because it’s an ultra-private building (which makes no sense by the way), but the room belongs to Ian Gale, the Bill Gates of the Elementary world and they immediately surmise, based on a few clues, that the woman was Gale’s mistress. However, Gale is disappeared, Sherlock realizes that someone is standing in for him in Kuala Lumpur, but theorizes that he’s still in the area because his private jet flew straight back to New York and hasn’t moved since. He finds that one local hotel has had an entire floor rented out for over a month and he and Watson head up there to confront Gale over the murder of his mistress but it isn’t what he thinks. Gale has been seriously ill, he’s had a heart transplant and his body is apparently rejecting the transplant. The girl, Hayley, is really his daughter by a one-night stand many years before. Gale is so upset that he offers Sherlock any help he can, damn stock prices if the press finds out he’s sick. Back in the day, Gale had paid his baby-mama $2 million to disappear, but he decided to get back into contact with his daughter when he realized he was sick and they shared the same rare blood type. What a guy. Gregson tells Sherlock that there’s only one unidentified set of prints in Hayley’s apartment and he learns that the killer must have had some kind of medical training due to the accuracy of the wound. Watson is upset that Sherlock keeps ditching Mycroft and insists that he go join him for dinner while she works the case. While there, Mycroft gives Sherlock the keys to 221B Baker Street and says that their father wants him to go home to London. When Sherlock says he’s doing well in New York, he’s told that his father might cut him off, throw him out of his home, etc. His father sounds like a real dick. Watson runs into Hayley’s mother, who came to New York when she found out Hayley was dead. She says that Gale didn’t care about Hayley until he needed her, but that Gale had put her into his will for 20% of his fortune. Sherlock and Watson interview Gale’s wife, she might have motive because she lost a big portion of her potential inheritance to Hayley, but she says that it was her idea to put Hayley in the will in the first place. They learn that Hayley had a boyfriend from Texas named Ray McKibbon, but that he’s come to New York and was the one who left the unidentified fingerprints in Hayley’s room. Sherlock finds where he’ll be by tracing the DVR recordings in Hayley’s room and find him at the track, but he says he’s innocent, he was out getting Hayley some medicine when the crime was committed and he couldn’t have done it. He says that she’d been extremely sick, but Sherlock realizes that she’d also given blood recently and wouldn’t have been allowed to it she had been sick. They talk to the lab tech who says she was fine, but something doesn’t make sense to Sherlock, however they get a phone call saying that Gale had died. Gale’s wife had lawyered up, but they go talk to her about Gale’s death instead, saying it was a murder. His heart transplant surgery had an 80% chance of survival and he learned that Mrs. Gale had contacted a divorce lawyer but was told that, due to a prenup, she couldn’t have gotten much money. Sherlock says that the transplant had given her the opportunity she needed. Mrs. Gale had given Hayley an injection of her husband’s new heart tissue which made her generate antibodies. She had a partner, the lab tech that took the blood, and they injected the blood into Gale, making him overproduce antigens and reject his new heart. Mrs. Gale, a former doctor, knew just how to stab Hayley to make her bleed out, but when she stumbled out onto the balcony and went over the side, she had to work fast and that set Sherlock on the right path. Case solved. Meanwhile, Mycroft is almost ready to head back to London but he meets with Sherlock one last time. Sherlock gives him a letter to deliver to his father rejecting his demands to return to London. We see Mycroft drinking at his restaurant where he tears up the letter. He calls someone and says his gambit failed. I suspect this means he’s working with Moriarty, I guess Mycroft isn’t the good guy we’re supposed to have thought he was all along. It’s not terribly surprising, after all, everyone on Sherlock’s life, with the possible exception of Joan, has stabbed him in the back, why should Mycroft be any different? It is nice to see the continuity in this show though. In the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Diogenes is actually the name of Mycroft’s club. They could have called it anything, I’m glad they stuck to canon.
Haven #4×10 – “The Trouble With Troubles” – We start the episode with Audrey, Nathan and Duke trying to help victims of a volcano in the middle of Haven. Apparently, with William’s distorted troubles, a woman who used to just get sand in her shoes when she thought about Hawaii, now generates volcanoes. They send the woman to the hospital with her husband Cliff and then Audrey and Nathan head back to her place for a little bit of rest. You know, this never occurred to me before, but why don’t they ever go back to Nathan’s place? Does he even have a place? Does he just stand in the corner at the precinct? Have we ever really seen his place? I don’t remember. Regardless, Audrey wakes up alone and her apartment is full of fishing gear. Something is clearly wrong. She can’t find her shoes so she goes outside and finds that the Grey Gull is now a bait shop. Of course, she just goes wandering down the road in her bare feet and pajamas until a police truck pulls over and Detective Duke Crocker gets out. He’s a third-generation cop in a town where his father, who is still alive, is sheriff. He calmly listens to Audrey’s story, then throws her in the back of the truck and takes her for a psychiatric evaluation. I would too. This is clearly not the Haven she knows, in fact, it’s billed as the Safest Town in Maine. Vince and Dave are more-or-less respectable, Nathan is a doctor and he was never adopted by Chief Wournos, in fact, he’s got a wife and a daughter and seems very happy, if extremely boring. However, this isn’t the perfect world that you might think. William is still around and, it seems, has the same “trouble” that Audrey does, he isn’t affected by the troubles either. In fact, as he tells Audrey, they’re very, very much alike because they both created the troubles together. Called it! She’s being punished for her part in it by having to rescue Haven over and over again, Agent Howard told her as much last season. She wants to know why William got rid of the troubles and he says he was blindsided by it as much as she was, he has no idea whose trouble got rid of the troubles but he aims to find out, but she won’t like how he does. William shows up at the Haven Herald and kills Vince and Dave, accidentally I think, it seems he was trying to get information from them and they refused. Next, he kills Carrie, thinking she might have done it, but no dice. Audrey discovers that it was, in fact, Cliff, who, after his wife died in the other Haven, wished that all of the troubles had never existed and his wish came true. William kidnaps Nathan’s wife and daughter and holds them hostage until he brings Cliff. Nathan drops his family off at home and then goes back to help Cliff, clearly he has some backbone in alternate Haven, but not much. Audrey arrives and William is trying to convince Cliff to change Haven back to the way it used to be. Cliff refuses and William shoots him and suddenly, everything is back to “normal”. Audrey, Duke and Nathan are at the police station and decide that enough is enough, William has to die. They work out that one of his victims in the other Haven had green fiberglass under their fingernails and Duke says that’s probably from a hideout that a local farmer uses to dry his weed. They head there and indeed, it is William’s hideout in both universes. He walks back and forth and starts to explain things to the group. Nathan is sick of it and shoots William, but suddenly Audrey falls as well with the same gunshot wound. Whatever happens to William also happens to Audrey. We have to wonder, with the knowledge that Audrey (or whoever she was) and William both created the troubles and liked doing it, what kind of people does that make them? Were they mad scientists? Where did the barn come in? Was Agent Howard her jailer? What about William? If Audrey had to go into the barn to regenerate, where did he go? Are we supposed to think that he was in the barn too, since he showed up in the bar? At last it feels like we’re getting to the core of the mysteries behind Haven, I hope they don’t mess it up and make it something absurdly magical. This is really kind of cool, a whole lot better than the series was in the first two seasons. Keep it up, Syfy!
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1×08 – “The Well” – Clearly this episode is supposed to tie into the new Thor film and they open with a recap of the Asgardian myths with regard to the Marvel Universe. I have no problem with that to be honest, I really want the TV show to link to all of the movies and to the larger Marvel Universe, I love arcane references and interesting tidbits and just random name-dropping by characters who make you feel like all of these things are going on in their backyard. We begin at Greenwich University where the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are helping to clean up the mess from Thor’s battle with Malekith the Accursed. Coulson makes a wonderful line about the Asgardians sending down the “God of cleaning up after yourself.” At around the same time, we see a pair of hikers taking apart an ancient tree with a chainsaw. Within the tree, they find a section of broken staff with strange markings and the moment they touch it with bare skin, they are transformed into rage monsters. Well, rage monsters that don’t turn green at least. They rush out into the streets of Oslo, Norway and start destroying things because I guess that’s what rage-roided Norweigians do. Simmons makes a cast of the staff’s impression in the tree and they realize the symbols are Asgardian. Coulson says that when Thor showed up, he visited a professor in Spain, the foremost expert in ancient Norse myths so they all head off to Seville to see Dr. Poha… I mean Professor Randolph. Seriously, I can’t be the only one doing Ghostbusters II jokes. Look! It’s Vigo! He says he thinks the piece was part of an ancient mythical staff that gave power to the Asgardian warriors known as the Berserkers. He has a couple of clues for where the other two pieces of the staff might be. Coulson sends a S.H.I.E.L.D. team to a potential site in Canada while his team looks at an ancient site nearby where there ought to be the bones of the Vikings. Ward and Skye go looking through the dark, dank ruins and Ward runs straight into Professor Randolph, who has the second part of the staff! Ward accidentally touches the piece and has a flashback to the most traumatic event in his life, the death of his brother when they were kids. They take Randolph back to The Bus where he says he just wanted to be the first one to study it, but after Ward tries to stab him with a knife, he reveals that he’s Asgardian, the same warrior in the stories that gave up a life in Asgard to stay on Earth forever. He says he’ll help find the last part of the staff and they head off for Ireland where not only do they find it, Ward and his rage take on a bunch of mystical hot-head hipsters who have the last piece. In the fight, Randolph has the staff shoved through his chest and as he lies dying, Coulson arrives and reaches into his chest to hold his heart together while his Asgardian healing works it’s magic. Coulson feels a certain affinity with Randolph since both have been stabbed through the chest with Asgardian weapons. When Ward is finally knocked down, May shows up, takes all three pieces and puts them back together and fights off the crazy kids. Randolph tells them that the staff taps into the bearer’s deepest, darkest memories for power, that’s why Ward saw his brother’s death, something that has haunted him his entire life. Ward asks May if she say anything and she says yes but it didn’t affect her because she sees it every day. Coulson asks Randolph what he’s going to do now and he says now that everyone knows about Asgardian artifacts in Europe, it’s time for a change. Coulson suggests somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, perhaps Portland and even offers to introduce Randolph to Thor next time he shows up. The post-credit bit has Coulson lying on a massage table in Tahiti, being massaged by a beautiful woman who starts talking about Tahiti being a magical place. He wakes up in his own bed covered in sweat. This whole Tahiti bit is really becoming a solid mystery, I wonder when they’re going to solve the whole Coulson death bit. I’m just dying to know. Honestly, I usually hate movie tie-ins because they’re so badly done but this wasn’t. It was a fun episode that didn’t rely on the audience having seen the new Thor movie, it had just enough interesting Asgardian bits to make you think about Thor and not so much that you have to run out and see the film right away. It’s nice knowing that not only are there alien artifacts on Earth but that they aren’t secrets, the public knows about them and S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t running around with their flashy-thingies erasing everyone’s memories. Good episode!
Mentalist #6×07 – “The Great Red Dragon” – We revisit the events of the last episode, with Jane interrogating his five suspects, finding that three have the “Red John” tattoo, hearing a gunshot within the home and as Lisbon arrives, Patrick’s old house explodes. Teresa borrows a flashlight from a police officer and goes into the house where she finds some assorted body parts. She finds Reede Smith in the rubble and tries to help him up, but sees the tattoo and pulls her gun. He grabs a nearby gun and they exchange shots. She manages to hit him in the side before he escapes. She then finds Jane, unconscious in the wreckage and calls for the medics. Patrick is taken to a local hospital where we learn he isn’t seriously injured but he has not regained consciousness. Bret Stiles, Ray Haffner and Thomas McAllister were killed in the explosion, leaving only Reede Smith and Gale Bertram of Jane’s final list of 5 alive. Bertram comes around to see Jane, intending to slit his throat with a scalpel, but when Lisbon arrives he starts to act nervous, making some silly demands that Lisbon immediately mobilize her team to find Smith, etc., then he says he’s going to get coffee and vacates the hospital, breaking his phone so no one can track him. Jane wakes up and reveals the truth to Lisbon, that Bertram has the tattoo as well and he gets out of his hospital bed, against the recommendations of his doctor, to go hunt Bertram down. They also have to find Smith, but he can’t go to a hospital to get his bullet removed because they have to report gunshot wounds. Teresa knows of one doctor that he can go to, a doctor without a license, and they head out to South Sacramento to find Smith. There’s already a cop outside of the doctor’s apartment and another man approaches and says “Tyger Tyger”. They’re here to kill Reede Smith to keep him from revealing the truth about their organization. The cop goes inside, just as Rigsby and Van Pelt… wait a minute, I can’t call them that anymore can I? Just as Wayne and Grace show up. They get a phone call from Lisbon telling them not to trust any police officers and rush around to the back door, just as the cop is pulling Smith out to kill him. They get into a gun battle where nobody can hit a damn thing, they arrest the cop and Smith gets away. They call Lisbon to tell her about the situation and she tells them to check the officer’s shoulder for the tattoo, which of course he has. Jane and Cho interrogate the officer who doesn’t want to tell them anything, so Jane says he can read his face and starts asking questions. It turns out that the officer doesn’t know who Red John is, but that they all belong to a special order within the law enforcement community that help each other, it’s not just about Red John, although Jane still thinks Red John is a member. Patrick says he needs to look both Smith and Gale in the eye to know who is Red John. Cho goes to look at the body of Partridge and finds that someone has cut a chunk out of his shoulder to keep them from finding the tattoo. You’d think something like that would be noted in the autopsy, wouldn’t you? Bertram and Detective Cordero go to a storage facility. Gale asks the detective to remain outside and goes in to a storage locker where he has a many different IDs and lots of emergency money. Wayne and Grace are talking at the CBI, but have to keep stopping whenever anyone comes close because they can’t trust anyone. Reede calls Grace and tells her that he needs help, he gives her a location and tells her to hurry, he’s bleeding badly. Of course, Reede was calling from the burner cell given to him by the organization and they’re tracking the calls. Now, Gale and the detective know where he is and that he’s about to turn evidence against them. Gale tells the detective to go pick him up and gives him a CBI badge. Cordero arrives and convinces Smith to come out, then pulls a gun on him and says he’s going to kill him, right up until Cho shows up and still can’t hit the broad side of a barn. He does get Smith into the car and they make their getaway. Smith wants immunity but Lisbon says no way. She can promise he’ll be put into a safe facility far outside of California though. He tells them that the organization is called the Blake Association, after the poet William Blake, who wrote the poem “The Tyger”. He has no idea how large the group is, maybe hundreds, maybe thousands of people. Reede admits to killing Kirkland but swears that he had nothing to do with the deaths of Jane’s wife and daughter. Jane believes him because Red John would never have broken so easily. Patrick calls a press conference where he tells everyone that Bertram Gale is Red John. Meanwhile, Gale is in a bar drinking scotch when the news report comes on the air and he has to kill the bartender. Wayne wonders if Cho and Grace are okay with killing their boss and they both have no problem with it. They find a lighter and since Bertram doesn’t smoke, investigate closer and find that it’s a USB drive. Grace tries to crack it and finds a single encoded file. Jane and Lisbon figure out where Gale is hiding, but when they arrive there, the entire SWAT team is at the house and won’t leave, someone called them there, someone with a lot of power. Gale, meanwhile, changed clothes into a SWAT uniform and gets out of the house with his detective friend. They get back to the office, just as an FBI agent named Dennis shows up and demands that everyone stop what they’re doing and get away from their desks. He’s here to shut the CBI down. They remind him that the Blake Association has members among the FBI too, but he’s from Dallas so he’s not affected. Or is he? He tells everyone to go home and after breaking Jane’s favorite cup, tells them all not to leave town. Jane says he’s not giving up, he’s just letting go and he winds up in a church, very unhappy, trying to work things out. Next week is the big reveal, they’ve whittled the names down to two, really just to one, but is it Bertram Gale at all? I don’t think so. Red John has been shown to be cool and calm under pressure, certainly not what we’ve seen from Gale in this episode. They’ve said that it is one of the seven and that people might be disappointed by whoever it is. I’m really hoping that I’m not terribly disappointed, but one thing is for sure as the entire show dynamic changes completely after next week’s episode. Whatever happens, everything changes in 7 short days.
Murdoch Mysteries #7×07 – “Loch Ness Murdoch” – It’s the middle of a historic heat wave and Murdoch and Brackenreid are taking in the beach when suddenly, there’s a scream and a dead woman on the beach, bearing the bite marks of a very large animal, one that Brackenreid thinks he saw out in the waters of Lake Ontario. There’s a beauty contest going on for a representative for Purity Soap and the dead girl, Katie, was the leading contestant, but with Brackenreid insisting all of his officers dress in full uniforms, you can be sure things are going to be heating up right quick. Dr. Grace says she’s never seen a bite wound like this before and Murdoch and Julia spend some time building a replica model of the teeth out of clay. He doesn’t buy into the idea of the monster but he has to pursue every possibility. They interview the suspects, from the snowball vendor, Mr. Bennett, who was once Katie’s boyfriend, to the crazy, paranoid old guy on the hill, Captain Squires, who claims to have seen the same monster as Brackenreid, and finally, with Murdoch getting tired of Brackenreid’s stories, the entire crowd on the beach sees the monster and this shifts Murdoch’s focus from a human killer to an aquatic one. George, typically the one who buys into all of the strange nonsense from aliens to ghosts, thinks it’s got to be a human killer, after all, who has ever heard or a lake monster? Sea serpents certainly, but lake serpents? That doesn’t stop Brackenreid from digging out every story about a lake monster in the newspapers in the past 100 years, but George continues to pursue human suspects and it’s a good thing too. He discovers that Katie, who had once been involved with Mr. Bennett, had been best friends with the vendor’s new girlfriend, Maria. Maria told the vendor that she was pregnant, thus invalidating her for the contest and her boyfriend had let slip that fact to the organizers and it had gotten her tossed out of the tournament. When Katie lost her beau, she fell into a deep depression and had walked out into the water, rocks tied around her neck, and drowned herself. The geezer above, Captain Squires, seeing his opportunity, used one of his bear traps on the body of Katie to make people think there was a monster, he also had a mechanical creature in the middle of the lake that he’d show people now and then. Maria had, in fact, lied to the vendor about being pregnant and in a fit of rage, he had killed her, feeling horrible that his former girlfriend Katie had killed herself over a lie. Case solved. At the end, George and Emily are walking along the beach, now that the heat wave has broken and George accidentally steps on Brackenreid’s hat. Trying to get rid of it before he’s found holding the ruined hat, he throws it and invents the Frisbee. Murdoch and Julia are also out on the beach, she pulls off her leggings, saying it’s silly for women to be required to cover up and runs out into the water, followed by Murdoch. They play in the surf and kiss, something we haven’t seen on the show in a very, very long time. I really do like the episodes where something really weird happens and it’s a mad rush between the natural explanation and the supernatural one to see which wins. Of course, the natural explanation always wins, but on those rare occasions where Murdoch sides with the supernatural, it’s nice to see George, who is the traditional oddball, choosing the side of reason and being right.
Person of Interest #3×09 – “The Crossing” – This was the episode that we’ve all been fearing, when someone on the main cast dies and leaves the show. It’s also the finale for the HR storyline and it’s about damn time for that. At the end of the last episode, Reese and Carter had taken Quinn prisoner and were trying to get him to the FBI. With the entire police force potentially compromised, they don’t know who to trust so they have to make a perilous journey across town to the FBI headquarters while being chased not only by every cop on the HR payroll, but every two-bit crook that wants the bounty HR put on Reese’s head. I mean, it’s not like they couldn’t have gotten on their phones and just *CALLED* the FBI or anything, right? They couldn’t have stolen a car along the way and just driven there, right? They had to sneak down alleys and take the subway and hide out while the noose slowly tightens. Yeah, didn’t make sense to me either, it was just a plot device that should have been explained along the way. Anyhow, they’re dragging Quinn all over town with a bullet wound that’s clearly visible but nobody on the street seems to notice it. After Quinn manages to bust Reese’s cell phone and his only connection to Finch (wait, Carter has no cell phone? They can’t steal one? Huh?), but Finch puts Fusco and Shaw on the case, trying to find out where Carter and Reese are so they can back them up. Finch reveals that he can no longer ask The Machine for help, which seems to be the most logical solution. He suspects that Root did something to The Machine so that she could get into the primary contact position but I don’t see how she had any opportunity to do so. Root does offer to help Finch out several times in the episode but he always turns her down. At the end when he’s desperate and going out to find Reese himself, he brings Root breakfast, saying he might not be back for a while, if ever. Um, you have a woman locked in a cage and you’re not sure if you’re ever coming back? You don’t see a problem here? Anyhow, HR has the only two routes downtown blocked and Carter and Reese have to find a way to sneak by the blockades. Reese has an old EMT friend and they hitch a ride in his ambulance, but a huge blood smear on the back of the ambulance alerts HR who begin shooting at the ambulance and they only barely manage to escape. So where did the smear come from? Presumably from Quinn as a warning sign, but it was pretty big, was Reese just too preoccupied to notice it? Seems out of character, he usually doesn’t make many mistakes. We see Fusco with his son Lee and Shaw shows up so they can go search. Things do not go well for Fusco as he ends up getting kidnapped by HR and tortured for the location of the bank where Carter hid her incriminating evidence against HR. Now seriously, why was Fusco carrying the key to the safe deposit box that held the evidence on a night when the city was filled with pissed off HR agents? Seems like he should have left that home. Anyhow, they want to know what bank it goes to and he won’t tell them so they start breaking his fingers. It looks bad for Fusco and he’s clearly a red herring in this but I knew he would make it through. HR sends an assassin to Fusco’s house to kill his son as punishment for his not cooperating, but Shaw arrives just in time and takes out the assassin, but apologizes that she can’t be in two places at once and Fusco is on his own. Luckily, with all his broken fingers, he has no trouble slipping out of the handcuffs and taking out his abductor. I really like the relationship between Shaw and Fusco, especially now that he has some real gratitude toward her. Anyhow, Carter and Reese and Quinn hole up in the city mortuary for the night, they can’t risk going out on the streets until morning. They pump Quinn full of sedative and stick him on ice but then they learn that HR knows where they are and are sending all of their agents to wipe them out. Reese and Carter share a tender moment and a kiss before he sneaks out of their barricaded area. He’s going to sacrifice himself to save Carter and Quinn, but we know that’s not going to happen. Finch shows up, turns the lights back on and directs Carter out the back door and they make it to the FBI building. The only way to save Reese is to turn him over to a couple of honest cops and he gets to spend the night in the county lockup. Carter turns in Quinn, even though he says he’ll never be convicted in “his” town and everything seems okay. The next morning, Finch visits Carter, who has gotten her detective shield back and asks her to get Reese out of jail. She does and as they’re walking down the street, Simmons, the only member of HR not caught in the sweep, runs out and riddles the two of them with bullets as Finch runs up. Reese, while hit twice, is okay but Carter dies. Okay, sorry, this is a cheap death. I could see if she got shot while getting Quinn to the FBI and stumbles up the stairs, bleeding profusely and dying as she completes her mission. That’s a heroic death. Being gunned down on the street after everything is said and done? Not so much. I call foul. Even though I half-heartedly suggested that Bear might be the team member to get it, it was always going to be Carter, mostly because once the HR story was done, she really had nothing else to do in the series. We knew it couldn’t be Finch or Reese, no matter what Root seemed to think. Shaw made no sense because she’s still new to the show and it wouldn’t have much emotional resonance. Fusco was a possibility, especially when they threw his kid into the mix but he still has a lot of potential in the show. Carter didn’t and even the last minute emotional attachment to Reese couldn’t save her. I loved her character but it was time it went away. Now, we have Reese swearing vengeance against Simmons, which ought to be interesting. The bit at the end when Finch was running up and the pay phone was ringing was kind of creepy too. Almost certainly, The Machine was calling with Carter’s number, at least that’s what we’re supposed to think. This episode would score highest marks if it had explained away the things I mentioned at the beginning. I hate shows that do illogical things just because the plot calls for them to do so. This really ought to be a 4.5 but I don’t give half points so…
Sleepy Hollow #1×08 – “Necromancer” – As we saw last week, they captured the Headless Horseman in a hex trap. This week, Ichabod learns how to fist bump. Now that they have the Horseman chained up and trapped within a magically warded cell, what do you do with him? Who is he? What happened to him? What does he want? How do you ask him any of these questions if he has no head? Problems, problems. Ichabod reveals that the cell was designed by Thomas Jefferson to deal with all kinds of demons, “a product no doubt of trying to reason with the French.” Luckily, they’ve got Captain Irving in their side now and they send him off to find Jennifer so she can join their team. Jennifer, who has been out of the loony bin for a day now, gets rousted by the cops in a diner and gets pretty upset when Irving tosses her into his office. Why couldn’t he have just told her immediately that Abby wanted him to get her? It would have solved a lot of problems. However, he’s not sure if he trusts her and frankly doesn’t want her in the same room as headless n’ gloomy, but she’s the one who knows the most about all of this, outside of Ichabod, she’s the person I’d really want on my team! Ichabod figures that since the Horseman can’t speak on his own, maybe they can use Zombie Andy for his mouthpiece, after all, he’d spoken to, and presumably for him before. They go off looking for Andy and find that he’s been living in the sewers. It’s not like he can get a job and rent an apartment, he’s all dead and stuff, I’m rather surprised he hasn’t started smelling yet. Andy tells them this is a very bad idea and when the corpse says he’s uncomfortable doing a thing, it’s probably best it doesn’t get done. Molloch brought him back from the dead to serve as the Horseman’s voice, but since Molloch owns Andy’s soul, he can take command of Andy at any time he wants and force Andy to dance around like a puppet. Since I’m sure it’s not in Molloch’s gameplan to have the Horseman chained up in the basement, putting Andy in the same room with him, especially unmonitored, seems like the worst idea ever. They also should have rigged up some sort of generator because the first thing I said when the episode started was “they’ll have a power outage” and certainly that’s what happened. However, it looks like the Hessians are out to rescue the Horseman, they break into an antique shop that Jenny was acquainted with and steal a talisman that allows them to break hex spells. Jenny and Irving then end up at a power substation where a bunch of Hessians are setting charges. They arrest the Hessians but the station still blows, turning off all the lights in the underground cell, just as I predicted. The Horseman can’t break free automatically but he’s gaining strength every moment. Ichabod uses this time to interrogate Andy and we get a flashback that reveals more of his history with Katrina. It seems Katrina was betrothed to Ichabod’s friend Abraham but she breaks it off because she’s really in love with Ichabod. Abraham takes this badly and while on a top secret mission, the failure of which could spell the end for the colonies, Abraham decides to start some shit and hold a duel in the middle of enemy territory. Granted, Ichabod isn’t much better, he did decide to spill the beans that Katrina loves him more so I don’t think either of them get off scott-free. The Hessians show up and shoot Abraham and Ichabod has to run off with the pre-Declaration-of-Independence, leaving Abraham to his fate. Ichabod had always thought that Abraham had died that day but instead, they turned him into the Horseman who would later become headless. Yes, Ichabod has spent all of this time beating up on his old friend. Irving and Jenny try to find the stolen tablet but none of the Hessians have it, they then return to the underground vault to report in. Jenny, who has never seen the Horseman, is impressed, but if you’ve seen one headless guy chained in a basement, you’ve seen them all. Reasoning that the Hessians are going to show up soon to break the hex, Abby, Jenny and Irving go to stand guard, leaving Ichabod with the Horseman and Pez-head Andy. Unfortunately for Ichabod, Andy’s boss Molloch has him set up to break the spell, he has the tablet stored inside his gut and when he pulls it out and recites the magical words, the ward is broken. Hey, it isn’t like Andy didn’t warn Ichabod. Repeatedly. The Horseman breaks free and tells Ichabod that his prize for all of this is Katrina. All he has to do is summon the other three horsemen and she belongs to him. Now wait, when the four horsemen ride, isn’t that the end of the world? How much time does Abraham get with Katrina? Seems like he got the short end of the stick. The Horseman escapes and Ichabod gets all whiny about how he’s responsible that Abraham became the Horseman. To some degree, maybe, had he not opened his mouth about their love affair, it’s unlikely that Abraham would have tried to duel when he did, but it was still Abraham who made his deal with Molloch. Ichabod says that while the Horseman might not be killable, he has a weakness and that’s Katrina so they have to find some way to get her back. Resurrection anyone? It’s unfortunate that the story was so blatantly obvious this week, at least for the blackout and Andy’s part in the whole thing. The flashbacks have issues though, it’s not like they’ve hinted at any of these secrets before and are just revealing the truth, they introduced an entirely new character that’s never been seen before and suddenly becomes extremely important in the same episode. Funny that Ichabod never mentioned Katrina was engaged to anyone else before, like it just slipped his mind until it became important to the storyline. I guess we could have predicted that Abraham/Brom was competing for Katrina’s affections, after all, it’s part of the original story, but it just appeared far too suddenly. It was a good episode, it shows that for Ichabod, this whole war is very personal, it was a bit scary and a bit funny all at the same time and I’m really starting to like Jenny a lot, she’s a character that everyone seems to underestimate but may be the most competent character in the whole show. I’d be happy to see her get a spin-off show of her own! Keep up the good work!
Tomorrow People #1×06 – “Sorry for Your Loss” – There are some things I honestly never cared to know about this series, in this case, Russell’s background. We have gone through five episodes so far and Russell has been little more than a background character and no reason to think he warranted anything better, but this time around they fleshed him out with a full back story and… I just don’t care. It turns out that he was a promising pianist with an abusive father who forced him to practice 6 hours a day, 8 on weekends, until he started to develop his powers. In the present day, Russell and Stephen are hustling pool and run into Piper, a young breakout who has similar talents. They chase her but she gets away and as they get back to base, Russell is informed that his father has just died. Like we didn’t see that one coming. Now, Russell wants to travel across country to attend the funeral and John says it’s too dangerous for anyone to be out of contact, or out in public at all for that matter. Russell is adamant though and John volunteers to go along. Back at Ultra, Darcy gets upset that Astrid showed up at the raid and tells Stephen to keep better track of his friends. He’s getting the same advice from both sides, that his TP life has to supersede his old human life. They get word of a new breakout, Piper, the same one that Russell and Stephen ran into and he rushes back to Cara to tell her that she needs to help. However, John made her promise that everyone needs to stay inside and she doesn’t want to make John mad, but Stephen tells her that she’s one of the leaders and she can make her own decisions. They go back to the pool hall and find Piper again, but she manages to teleport away, just as Ultra shows up, cornering Cara and Stephen. They can’t teleport away but Stephen kisses Cara and Ultra walks right past them. Russell and John are getting drunk in a bar and John suspects Russell is trying to avoid dealing with the reality of his father’s death. They get into a bar fight and John is cleaning up until he lands one on an off-duty cop who handcuffs them to the table for what seems like hours and never reports it. Say what? Cara and Stephen bond over old lovers, which seems entirely creepy, as they wander the city looking for Piper. Cara picks up on Piper’s vibe and guides her to safety as a horde of Ultra agents close in and then they take them back to the old TP homestead. However, things are not as they seem and it turns out that Piper is Darcy’s younger sister who left home to find her. This is inordinately bad. Worse, Stephen wants to get the sisters back together, he thinks he can draw Darcy away from Ultra if they meet. We see another flashback with Russell and he’s been cheating at cards. He gets thrown out, but teleports away before the baddies can take back all the money he took. He returns home, chased by gang members and his father hides him in a closet, then protects him as the gang members play out a tune on his hand with a hammer. Stephen talks to Darcy and tells her about her sister. She’s hesitant, then agrees to meet them at a diner. Unfortunately, her Ultra programming is strong and she told them where to find her sister. Stephen pleads with Darcy to help them escape and come with them and at the last moment, she stands up to Ultra and gets shot for her trouble. Stephen and Piper teleport away and Darcy dies. That’s another training partner down, he’s not good at keeping them alive. Why didn’t Darcy teleport away? Worse, she’s got a gun and all she can do is shoot people in the leg? Seriously? This whole “can’t kill” thing is just dumb. Russell and John arrive at Russell’s house and meet his mother, who forgives Russell for everything. Russell plays the piano for everyone as a way to thank his father. Piper joins the group, not like she has a lot of options and Irene comes home after getting out of the hospital. Stephen feels bad about Darcy’s death, but he and Cara jump into bed together to make him feel better. Honestly, while it was painfully obvious this was going to happen, I’m not a fan of it and I don’t think that Stephen and Cara have any business being together. I’d much rather see Stephen and Astrid if we have to see anything at all. Not a bad episode, we see Ultra rack up some more bodies, but honestly, I didn’t care about Russell before this episode, I don’t care about him after this episode, his piano-playing skills are pointless and it was just an excuse to get John out of the picture so Cara and Stephen could get it on. I wish they hadn’t.
Best of the Week: There were so many really great episodes this week but I just couldn’t pick one to get top marks so I’m giving it to two. My list, my rules. Arrow and Mentalist both get the top spot for amazing episodes this week. Mentalist is a complete game-changer and Arrow sets things up for some dramatic changes in the near future, both of them really made my TV-viewing week.
Worst of the Week: Even though it wasn’t a horrible episode, Atlantis has to get this “award” for it’s loss of progress. It showed such great potential in the last two episodes, only to go right back to it’s horrible, plodding, ill-conceived storytelling. This should be a much better show!
Other Stuff I Watched: Iryu Sosa 1 #10-11 (J-drama), Senryuu Tantei Tokage #1-4 (J-drama)