I thought this was going to be a big week, in fact, I went and looked at air dates earlier in the month for all of January and came up with 14 episodes this week. Apparently, things change or were wrong because we’re only getting 10 episodes and 9 reviews, the rest have been pushed off for a week or more. Amazingly, there’s no Mentalist this week, or until March, which makes no sense considering February is sweeps month and every show out there ought to have new shows on the air. I guess I can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, so read on to see what I thought of these 10 shows this week.
Arrow #2×10 – “Blast Radius” – It’s been a long time away but Arrow is back and after what happened in the mid-season finale, I was expecting great things. However, there’s a lot that’s missing and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. We saw Slade in modern-day Starling City. He doesn’t make an appearance this episode. We saw Barry Allen get zapped. He’s spent the interim in an off-camera coma. However, as I said, those aren’t really bad things, absence makes the suspense grow stronger and I think that not having them around is going to make the action even better when they do return. So we pick up 5 weeks after the end of the last episode and Arrow has been scouring the city nightly looking for any information on the guy in the skull mask but hasn’t managed to find anything yet. As I said, Barry has been in a coma and Felicity has spent much of her time in Coast City looking after him, leaving Oliver in a somewhat uncomfortable position. Laurel has been “dating” Sebastian Blood as a means of gathering more information about him, she hasn’t trusted him pretty much as long as he’s been on the show and she’s trying to dig up some dirt on the man before he becomes mayor. She questions Blood about Cyrus Gold, who appeared a number of episodes back and it turns out that Gold was a close friend of Blood’s back in his orphanage days. Laurel presses him to learn what happened to his parents and he says that his father, an unrepentant violent drunk, beat up on his mother one night and she shot him to death in self defense before vanishing into the night. That’s how he ended up in the system. Remember that, it becomes important later. And then there’s this week’s villain-of-the-week, Shrapnel, who isn’t quite like his comic version but who might end up there, depending on how long he hangs out in the show. Roy is also trying to deal with being shot up by the mirakuru super-drug and Oliver really wants to get to the bottom of it, he’s concerned about Roy as well because those who get injected end up very bad off indeed, either mentally or physically. Plus the fact, having super-strong psychopaths running around the city isn’t a good idea either. Back to Shrapnel. He’s been blowing up buildings. Why? We really don’t know, he just gets off on it for some reason. Arrow meets with Officer Lance, who gives him samples from the last explosion and asks for a favor. He wants Felicity to get him police phone records, he suspects there’s a spy in the system. Sure, why not offer Felicity’s services? While talking though, a second explosion goes off and Felicity finds the bomber’s signal and off goes Oliver on his Arrowbike in hot pursuit. Oliver chases him for blocks but then Shrapnel scrambles his signal and escapes, leaving Oliver pissed off at Felicity, who he takes it out on when he gets back to the Arrowlair. She’s none too happy about it, of course. Laurel finds some paperwork on Blood’s desk mentioning a woman named Maya Resik, whose medical costs Blood is apparently paying. Laurel tries to look into it and when she comes up empty, she approaches dear old dad to do the work for her. He says he’s going to look into Blood’s background whether Laurel likes it or not. Meanwhile, Sebastian decides to throw a rally, showing he’s strong enough to stand up to the bomber and invites the citizens to show up too. Arrow tells Blood that it’s a really, really bad idea but Blood is adamant. He doesn’t want to fail the city. Now since we know that he’s actually Brother Blood, a psychopath, is there a link between him and Shrapnel? We just don’t know. Anyhow, Felicity manages to track Shrapnel back to his real identity, Mark Scheffer, who works at an antique shop. Arrow goes to check it out but the place is boobytrapped and the walls are packed with explosives. One wrong move and the whole place goes up. Felicity says that the building is old and taking out the electrical panel should short circuit the whole place. One expertly-aimed arrow coming up! Now it’s off to the rally. Diggle, Felicity, Thea, Roy and Moira are already there, let’s threaten the whole family while we’re at it! Diggle finds the control panel for the explosives and gets shot for his effort but Shrapnel shows up with a dead man’s switch and challenges Arrow to stop him. Now personally, the second he said “if I drop this…” I was hoping Arrow would put an arrow through his hand and the trigger so he couldn’t drop it, but unfortunately no. He just severed the wires leading to the trigger. A radio tower falls and Roy grabs it and saves Moira’s life. He tries to say it was just adrenaline but we know what it really was. Shrapnel is arrested and the rally goes on to be a big success. Lance tells Laurel that Resik is Blood’s only living relative but she’s been confined to a mental institution for years. Later at the Arrowlair, Oliver apologizes to Felicity for how he treated her. He’s realized that she’s not just his employee, she’s his partner and he doesn’t know how to go on when she’s not around. It was touching and while I’m sure there’s some jealousy going on over Felicity’s relationship with Barry, at least he didn’t go there. Laurel goes to visit Resik in the institution and even though she’s warned that Resik doesn’t talk to anyone, she manages to get her talking about Sebastian. In fact, she isn’t his aunt, she’s his mother and she tells Laurel that Sebastian killed his own father and had her committed to the institution to keep her from telling anyone. Of course, we have our scenes from the island, the group buries Shado and Slade is really pissed off, mostly at Oliver because Shado liked him more than she liked Slade. In fact, Slade tried to strangle Oliver until Sara whacked him with a log. Mirukuru isn’t a very nice drug. They hear a radio message from Ivo saying that if they turn over the drug, he’ll spare their lives but otherwise, he’s going to send his men in to capture them, alive, so he can torture them to death. What a nice guy. This was more of a character piece than an action episode, we got the comparison between what mirukuru did to Slade and what it’s doing to Roy. We learn more about Blood and we find that Oliver and Blood have become good friends. The Shrapnel b-plot really didn’t mean a lot, it was just a way for some explosions and a chase scene but I hope that the character comes back in the future and we can go farther with him than we did here. Overall, great episode.
Castle #6×13 – “Limelight” – When it’s rumored in the newspapers that Castle is reuniting with is ex-wife, Beckett is understandably upset, but Castle points out that the tabloids lie to sell papers and that’s exactly what we should take from that story. Beckett doesn’t want to become the girlfriend-of-a-celebrity, although considering how often they’re together, it’s hard to believe that the paparazzi hadn’t already made that connection. Alexis had also asked her father to write a letter or recommendation for Pi, which he keeps putting off because he really has nothing nice to say about the little asshat. I don’t blame him. Just then, they get a call, a celebrity has been murdered. Mandy, who was a child star and has since gotten involved in drugs and alcohol, is found dead in her apartment, but that’s not what killed her, someone offed her the old fashioned way, with a gun. They interview her friends and family and find that Mandy had cleaned up her act since she got a new boyfriend, but after a tabloid picture of Mandy making out with her old drugged-up boyfriend, her new boyfriend, Zack, left her and she went all to hell. However, that’s not the whole story, Mandy’s mother says that it’s not her daughter that’s dead, but a hired body double, Claire, who worked to mislead the press. Nobody has seen Mandy, making people wonder if both aren’t dead, but Mandy is found in a hotel room under an assumed name, drunk out of her skull and not all that worried that Claire is dead. Castle and Beckett tell Mandy to pretend she’s dead and lay low for a couple of days while they work things out. The interview Mandy at the precinct where Alexis runs into her. Alexis was a huge fan of Mandy’s childhood work, but is very disappointed in her recent life. They also have the same phone and Alexis and Mandy accidentally swap phones at the station. This leads Mandy to call Alexis and angrily demand her phone back. While Pi is off to do something absurd, Alexis goes to visit Mandy and while apologizing for the mix-up, they end up talking and Alexis admits that she made a mistake moving in with Pi. Mandy hates her life but is too weak to change on her own, Alexis hates her own life but doesn’t want to admit that her father was right about Pi all along. Mandy gets a phone call from a close friend, a bartender named Sam and even though Mandy isn’t supposed to let anyone know she’s still around, she tells Alexis that she’s going to see him and Alexis insists on going along. Meanwhile, they think they’ve found the murderer, a crazed fan sent pictures of Mandy sleeping in her bed, but when they hunted him down, he’s certainly crazy but he sees himself as Mandy’s protector and would never hurt her. He was also well aware of the body double and has no reason to go after Claire. He did see a custom motorcycle in the alley behind Mandy’s building and gives a very detailed description. It turns out to have belonged to Mandy’s druggy ex-boyfriend. They haul him in and it turns out that someone paid him to get photographed kissing Claire, not Mandy. Someone wanted to mess up Mandy’s happy life by getting that photo into the tabloids. Claire felt guilty though and was going to tell Mandy about it and go to the press, but when he arrived to try to talk her out of it, she was already dead. They tracked down the freelance photographer and he says he got a tip from the publisher of the tabloid to be in that place at that time and take the photos, which suggested that the publisher was to blame, but he too got an anonymous tip from a burner cell. Mandy and Alexis get to the bar and reveal to Sam that she’s still alive. Sam tells her that Claire was in the bar on the night she died and was really desperate to get ahold of both Mandy and her ex-boyfriend. A fan recognizes Mandy and there’s a media circus. Mandy and Alexis barely get out, but are ordered into a truck by the ex-boyfriend who is trying to figure out what’s going on. He spills the beans about the staged photo and since Mandy was pretty blitzed, she didn’t remember what happened that night anyhow, but just then the cops show up and rescue them. We find out that the person who had the burner cell hadn’t turned off the GPS and they track them down. It turns out that the killer is Mandy’s mother, who was concerned that new boyfriend Zack was taking her away from show business and potential millions in earnings so she hatched the scheme to ruin her relationship and then killed Claire when she threatened to talk. Just as Mandy is leaving the precinct, Alexis shows up with Zack. After all, if Mandy wasn’t actually guilty of cheating with the ex-boyfriend, there’s no reason for them to have broken up. Castle gives Alexis the letter for Pi and Alexis says she has to fix a problem, which is a good thing because I can’t think of anyone I’ve seen that has liked Pi at all. Someone run him over, please. I’ll settle for him being written off the show and out of Alexis’ life. At the end, Beckett relents and announces her engagement to Castle in the newspapers, at least if there are rumors, they might as well be accurate. This was an okay episode, nothing spectacular, although I really did like that Mandy wasn’t the sleaze she seemed to be at the beginning and, although we’ll probably never see her on the show again, it’s nice to think that she gets her happily ever after ending. I’d like to think that she and Alexis get to be good friends too, they had a really nice chemistry, once Mandy stopped feeling sorry for herself. As for the Castle/Beckett thing, we get these little tiny bits of information here and there, are they getting married, when are they getting married, where are they getting married, should they tell anyone they’re getting married, etc. I just want them to get married! Hopefully by the end of the season, they’ll do it and we don’t have to watch the planning. It’s just boring anymore. Do it and move on.
Dracula #1×09 – “Four Roses” – Grayson believes that the Order was behind the attack on Mina while Renfield tries to convince him that it was Davenport seeking revenge for the death of his son. Renfield visits Van Helsing, hoping that he can talk Grayson down before he does something stupid, but as far as Van Helsing is concerned, their partnership is over. It was Grayson’s promise that they would capitalize on their scientific discoveries together, but now that Grayson’s unrealistic expectations and drive to be human again has resulted in the confiscation of the Resonator, they can no longer do that. Of course, Grayson already has a plan to get the Resonator back. There’s so much miscommunication in this show! Meanwhile, Jonathan wakes up in Lucy’s bed and is very disappointed in himself. He gets dressed while Lucy watches, knowing that she’s driven a huge wedge between Jonathan and Mina. However, she’s not done. Mina is still in the hospital and Grayson has been bringing her roses. She’s having flashbacks to her attack and she sees Grayson covered in blood but she’s not convinced she’s seeing things clearly. One person who isn’t coming to see Mina is Jonathan, he’s far too busy being inducted into the Order of the Dragon and besides, he doesn’t want to see her now that he’s slept with Lucy. And, of course, Browning is still convinced that Grayson is Dracula, although Lady Jayne tries to talk him out of it, saying he’s been seen in broad daylight. Browning thinks it’s a trick and of course it is, but now his children have disappeared and he blames Grayson for their kidnapping. Confused yet? Grayson asks Van Helsing if he took the children and he denies it, but he did it, now that his revenge plot seems to have gone sour and he has to find some other way to get back at the Order. He just can’t bring himself to kill the children though, I was a bit worried that Van Helsing would turn out to be the monster of the series, since clearly Dracula/Grayson only kills for survival. The Order has really turned out to be the monster in this show, which I find strangely satisfying. Jonathan, as I said before, is getting ready to be inducted into the Order, but first he has to bring them the plans for the resonator, which he does. Browning, looking over the plans, says that since the city has given the resonator back to Grayson, he’ll have to prove it’s worth and he’s going to make sure it fails. Jayne says that Grayson will just keep trying, but Browning tells her that if the failure is spectacular enough, he’ll have to give up. Lucy asks her mother if it is natural for her to love another woman and her mother is taken aback. Lucy realizes that Jayne played her, but she’s too far in to stop now. Grayson visits some of the Order in a billiards hall and leaves them locked in with some of his vampire friends with the expected results. Browning had been using the police to spy on Grayson, going so far as to file an illegal search warrant on Carfax Manor, but Grayson, knowing that there are no children being kept there, allows them to search anyhow, much to Renfield’s consternation. Lucy shows up in Mina’s hospital room and breaks the news that she and Jonathan got it on. This causes Mina to break out of prison and confront Jonathan, who doesn’t deny what’s happened and says she’ll never see him again. Back at the hospital, Grayson comes to see her and they talk. He tells her not to think about what happened and denies that he was involved, even though she knows that he was. He says that she reminds her of someone he used to love and she says she’s remembered Ilona since her childhood, which is pretty freaky. Mina tell him about the affair between Jonathan and Lucy and then says she wants to be alone. Jonathan goes to Lucy’s house where she’s taking a milk bath and bites her, making her drink some of his blood and therefore becoming a vampire. Next week is the season finale (it was actually supposed to be a 2-part episode this week but they changed it at the last minute), we’re going to see Browning’s treachery, Lucy’s vampirism and a battle with Jayne. It should be great, I’m looking forward to it.
Helix #1×03 – “274” – In the last episode, we saw Peter give Julia an infected kiss in the shower. This week, Alan finds her passed out in the shower and she plays it off as being tired. It’s not clear if she really doesn’t remember the encounter with Peter or if she’s trying not to think about it, but Alan tells her to get some sleep, he needs her at her best. Doreen and Major Balleseros are becoming best buds, which is unfortunate because we know he’s in bed with Hataki. However, when they discover that Doreen’s monkey subject is gone, ostensibly taken away by Hataki, Sergio tells her not to confront him because he’ll just claim it was done for the safety of the base. He says he knows where other monkeys are and takes her out into the snow where he found the herd of frozen monkey corpses last episode. She questions him, proving she’s probably the smartest of the scientists here, and he says he was checking the stability of the base. No pal, you were sending secret communications with your pocket satellite dish. Anyhow, they do get more samples and take them back to her lab where she tries to grow more of the virus with dangerous results. Of course, Sergio doesn’t want he to tell anyone about that either, claiming Hataki will just abscond with it again anyhow. She honestly should have gone to Alan right away but she doesn’t. Peter shows up and turns himself in to Alan, which was a bit of a surprise and they take him back into custody. They manage to come up with a test which they think will identify who is infected and who is not. They start testing everyone and come up with about 1/3 that are infected, according to the test. What do to with them though? Oh wait, there’s an entire section of the base that nobody knew about! It’s an old fusion experiment that never worked but Section R is perfectly safe to stick all of the infected into, right? So now, they have to move all of the infected downstairs and then move the ones that we once thought were infected, but now are not, back upstairs. There are still a couple of infected people running around the base but they start coming forward and volunteering to be recaptured. This should be throwing up some major red flags but apparently does not. Julia notices that Sarah’s hand is shaking and demands that she take a test, but when she does, she comes up negative. Another red flag anyone? So they get all of the infected into Section R, then one of the infected breaks loose, starts killing people and makes a rush at Julia, just before Alan shoots her, and it’s revealed that Julia is actually infected when she starts coughing up black goo. Julia stays in Section R voluntarily, but realizes that she tested negative for the virus. She goes to check on the rest of the tests and most of them are no longer showing positive. Something is wrong with the test! Duh! She gets on the phone with Alan, just as Sergio blows the satellite uplink (and apparently the entire communications network). We also learn that Hataki has been keeping a super anti-viral drug secret, it kills everything including HIV, but it has a 75% mortality rate. I guess that’s better than the 100% mortality rate of some of the viruses. I’ll be honest, there are a lot of shows out there that suffer from this problem and that’s stupid people doing stupid things because if they didn’t do stupid things, there would be now show. It’s an unfortunately common plot device and one that I hate. The cause is bad writing and writers who don’t really understand how scientists operate. They need better writers, but this being Syfy, they probably don’t have any. I also wonder how long this show can go on. It’s slated to go for “at least 13 episodes”, but as each episode is a day, I don’t see much long-term future for Helix. I pointed it out last week and I’m even more convinced today, it’ll go on for as long as they can milk it, then wrap up the story and call it a day. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that if it’s successful, they’ll do with it what they did with Under the Dome, that really awful Stephen King rip-off from last summer, and find a way to keep it going for a couple of seasons, even if it makes no sense whatsoever to do so. This could be an interesting mini-series running 13 or even 16 episodes. I can’t understand what could happen beyond that, especially since the outside world now can’t get ahold of the research station and sooner or later, they’re going to send reinforcements to get to the bottom of it. I really want to like this show, I really like this kind of show, I just want to see better characters, better acting, better writing and for the love of Pete, a show that actually ends before it gets tiring. Is that too much to ask?
Intelligence #1×03 – “Mei Chen Returns” – There’s so much weird in this series so far, I know it’s only the third episode but it feels like they’re ending so many really worthwhile plot points and I really don’t know where they’re headed. In the last episode, Gabriel’s wife supposedly died in the hospital explosion. I say supposedly because it makes no sense to me whatsoever that they’d kill her off after making her so important and full of mystery in the pilot, but for the moment, she’s dead-ish and Gabriel heads off to Mexico to drown his sorrows in a particularly anti-American bar. Riley finds him and tells him he’s needed back at base, to find a CIA agent who has gone rogue and taken all of his chip data and is off to sell it to the highest bidder. Okay, first off, why would an asset that is so valuable (they refer to him in the same vein as an aircraft carrier), not have some kind of internal GPS signal that can be tracked? Why should he be able to go anywhere that they can’t find him? It makes no sense. So anyhow, Gabriel comes back and is ready to get to work, but he think that his maybe-dead wife is communicating through his chip and that’s freaking him out. Yeah, it would be freaking me out too but Gabriel is supposed to be rational. Cassidy can’t find anything wrong with the chip itself but says it looks like there’s tampering from outside going on. We see Mei Chen, the girl that was implanted with a superior chip in the first episode. We know she’s awake and active and we find out that Amos, the smelly geek that betrayed Gabriel in the first episode is assigned by her Chinese overlords to monitor her chip or else she’ll kill him. Good. We also find out that the CIA has been implanting worms into the the computers of Cyber Command and nobody has noticed it. These worms have copied all of the data on Gabriel, many yottabytes, onto the CIA’s new super-information-technology, “water drive”, that allows them to carry an absurd amount of data in an extremely small area. I want one of those. And, of course, Mei Chen, having a more powerful chip, can do amazing things like invade Gabriel’s super-duper crime reconstructions, that’s how she’s fooled him into thinking that his deadish-wife was talking to him and they can’t figure out how to stop her from doing that. Nobody heard of a firewall? So anyhow, the CIA analyst, whose name I don’t remember, goes to sell her information to Tristan, who turns out to be an agent for MI-6. He tries to get answers from her but someone ends up shooting him, we’re supposed to think it’s Mei Chen but we never see for sure. The CIA chick escapes and runs to the Chinese embassy, she wants to sell her data to the Chinese Ambassador, but both the Ambassador and his guard are utterly stupid, you don’t hear a noise outside the door and not go out with your gun drawn, then when you hear your guard hit the floor outside the door, you don’t walk over and open the door like a clueless idiot. Of course, it’s Mei Chen and she throws a knife into the CIA operative, just to show her that she’s serious, then takes her hostage. She threatens to cut her eye out before she’s given the contact lens that has all the data stored on it, then Mei Chen “absorbs” all of that data into her brain. Okay, time out. Seriously, Mei Chen has room for yottabytes of data in her head? Really? Come on! Oh no, now everyone is going to know how to make more Gabriels, they’ll make a Gabriel army! Whatever will they do? Gabriel attracts Mei Chen into his dream state where they have a chat and all the while, Cassidy is hacking into her chip and erasing all of the CIA data without her knowing about it. Well hey, if you can do that, why not just fry her chip? Take her out of the game? If they can finally block her from entering Gabriel’s chip, which they do at the end of the episode, why can’t they just blow up her chip and get rid of her completely? This is really kind of absurd. I really have no idea where they’re going with any of this. They’ve thrown away the two really interesting plot devices they set up in the pilot. There could have been this long-term story arc about what happened to Gabriel’s wife, it could have lasted the whole season or more. There could have been a long-term story arc about Mei Chen sneaking into Gabriel’s chip and leading him astray or slowly driving him crazy or something. It didn’t even have to be revealed that it was her until the end of the season, in fact, that would have been a better story not to even mention her again until the end of the season. No, they didn’t do any of that, they just blew their wad in the first three episodes and now whatever they’re going to do from here on out has to be completely new and not based in the established mythology of the show. Who wrote this? 11-year olds? And what was that ridiculous bit about Gabriel and Mei Chen being the new Adam and Eve? Seriously? She thinks they’re going to be the start of a new race? How? The chips don’t transfer to offspring, they have to be implanted, meaning there doesn’t need to be an Adam and Eve, just a doctor with chips and a surgical unit. I’m honestly not all that sold on Gabriel, I think Riley is a slightly better character, but she was hardly in this episode at all. Someone better start appealing to me soon and the writers had better start giving us an overarching story that holds the whole mess together or I feel this show isn’t long for this world, or my list of reviews.
Murdoch Mysteries #7×12 – “Unfinished Business” – This almost didn’t get reviewed this week. I download all of my TV viewing and since Murdoch is a Canadian production, I clearly can’t tune in on the absurd number of channels I get to see it over the cable. The first version I downloaded had horrible static throughout. That one went right into the trash can. The second and third had no sound at all. Likewise, they got trashed. It took me until the fourth version to get one that was watchable, which is strange because the people I got it from are usually 100% reliable. Luckily I eventually found one that worked perfectly. A dying man calls for the police to confess a crime, he says that he murdered his wife and describes the crime in exacting detail, even giving where he buried the body. There’s only one problem, the body was not killed as the man described and since the man had since died, Murdoch has to try to piece together the clues. Julia remembers one of the first cases they had worked together on, back when she was the coroner and they review it and find that it matches the details of the murder perfectly. Murdoch had tried, at the time, to pin the murder on the woman’s husband but couldn’t make it stick. It turns out that both women had been killed within two weeks of each other and they come upon an interesting hypothesis, that these two men had formed a pact to kill each other’s wives. The only problem was, neither of the two men could be proven to have ever met each other. It takes teamwork and a lot of piecing together clues to find out that both men had wound up next to each other in a hospital in Montreal where the plan was hatched, but did they really? One man had a brother, a quite obnoxious lawyer-type who constantly defended and spoke over his brother, but while the hospital records said that there was an emergency appendectomy involved, the brother whose wife was killed had no scar, but his brother did and was acting to get his brother’s wife killed because he knew she was planning on leaving his brother and wresting control of the company from him. Okay, that’s a lot of brothers and if you can follow that, more power to you. The problem is, I seem to be the only one even reviewing this show, there is a wiki dedicated to it, but episode recaps there are slow to appear, if they ever do. Even IMDB doesn’t have up a list of characters or actors for each episode, leaving me to either go back through the episode to figure out who these characters are, or to just fake it, which I’ve done here. That’s quite a shame because this is one of the best detective shows on the air, I wish more people would pay attention to it worldwide. Anyhow, the b-story is that Emily has become distant from George and we’re supposed to think that she’s falling for Julia’s ex-husband’s brother, Leslie. Yeah, okay, if she’s going to slum, I wish she’d be honest, but I wish George would just grow a pair and confront her. Screw Victorian politeness, if she’s going to leave him, he deserves to know. Leslie is a real asshole through and through, he even pretends to respect George’s wishes when he’s told that George is courting her, but he’s still sending her letters behind George’s back. It’s the kind of thing that gets me angry, and being angry at a television show really makes very little sense. The other thing that makes me angry is the end, where Julia gets a letter from the not-really-quite-dead James Gillies, telling her that she had to break up with Murdoch or he’ll kill him and if she tells Murdoch about the letter, he’ll kill them both. Enough already! I hate the magical super-killers enough, but here we’ve got the exact same thing that stopped me from watching Bones. The killer that is 6 steps ahead of everyone else, cannot be killed, has every possible contingency plan in place, has taken a sudden and inexplicable interest in the love life of the main characters and is dedicated to making sure they don’t get together. Really? Don’t these people have better things to do? Get a hobby! Please, stop this foolishness, I haven’t seen a single person like this plot line in the show. Writers, kill Gillies for real and let’s just have a great detective drama!
Psych #8×02 – “S.E.I.Z.E. the Day” – To be honest, at the end of last season they did so much to screw up the chemistry of the show, I was really nervous how things would turn out and, well, I still am. Chief Vick got suspended (and will hopefully be back), Lassiter got demoted to a beat cop, Trout took over the department and tossed the Psych crew to the curb. It’s just no the same show that we’ve all grown to know and love. Of course, they have to find a way to put it all back the way it was and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I love Psych, I love what they’ve done for the past 7 years but to be honest, they haven’t had any major shakeups in that time. We have the same basic cast we started with and this might have been their best chance to make some changes and reinvigorate the show, but unfortunately, they have Trout, who, as much as I like Anthony Michael Hall, is a complete moron and has to go. Shawn and Gus are hurting for money and are trying to find a way to get back into the SBPD’s graces. They arrive at a crime scene where Trout is having the most absurd briefing for his officers and they tell a guy in the crowd to just demand to be let back into his house. Shawn is on this personal life coach kick, using the word S.E.I.Z.E., although he really doesn’t know what it means. Trout has the man arrested and the briefing goes on so long that Lassiter captures the criminal without a single shot being fired, although Trout refuses to give Lassiter any of the credit for the collar. While Trout is giving a speech to the press, someone in a white van fires on him and Lassiter tackles him to save his life. Jules is now head detective but she feels horrible doing the job with Lassie around. Shawn and Gus talk Lassiter into asserting himself, even though he feels down and he gives a rousing speech to the troops and when he gets home, he’s so happy with himself that he gets home, he keeps talking over his wife, Marlowe, who wants to tell him that she’s pregnant. This is the first time we’ve seen her in the show in a long time too. Lassie relentlessly pulls over every white van he can find, but then remembers his wife’s condition and this changes everything, the once gung-ho Lassie is now afraid of being shot, he doesn’t want to be hurt with a little one on the way. He approaches Shawn and Gus and says he’s not capable of doing the job anymore, he wants their help to find the chief’s attacker in hopes that it will earn his top detective spot back. They look through the scrapbook that Trout made of all of the death threats he’s received and find that the most likely suspect is Trout’s own mother. They go to talk to her and find that she’s carrying a .38, the same caliber that shot at Trout so they take her into custody. She hates Trout, she’d be more than happy to kill him and it seems the feeling is mutual. Trout and his mother get into the interrogation room and scream at each other but it turns out she’s not to blame, the white van opened fire on a nearby business. Gus wonders if the driver isn’t trying to kill a-holes. Shawn thinks Gus might be right and calls his father to warn him. Lassiter thinks he sees the white van in a parking lot and hides in the car until Shawn and Gus arrive. He tries to give Shawn his gun and refuses to go into the building and this makes Shawn think that maybe Lassie is dying. They find a man in a hoodie in the building and he shoots at them but they duck and when he tries to shoot Lassiter, he’s out of ammo and runs away while Lassie hides. This makes Trout mad and he confiscates Lassie’s ticket book and pens. Jules wants to check out the van owner’s work and invites Lassiter to come, but Shawn and Gus tell her that he’s dying. They arrive at work and find that the man is dead. However, Shawn remembers the business logo on the jacket of the man they had talked to at the crime scene. They go to talk to his wife and she’s thrown him out for being a spineless jellyfish. All of the victims in the past few days were jerks who had gotten in his way. They go back to the original crime scene and Lassiter remembers that the criminal was coming out of a basement. They go down stairs and find the killer, Patrick, planning another crime. His gun is on the table and Lassie, nervous about the whole gun thing, drops his. Shawn, Gus and Jules wait to the side while Lassie explains he’s about to become a father and doesn’t want to die. Patrick doesn’t care. Lassie realizes that he wants his son to respect him as a man so he dives for his gun and gets the drop on Patrick. Trout is so impressed that he promotes Lassiter to be his personal driver. We next see him sitting in Henry’s truck and Henry tells him that there will always be bad guys to chase but a son only has so many years to respect and admire his father. Lassiter thanks him and then gives him a ticket for a broken tail light. I’m glad that they’re not just switching back to the old crew, Vick’s suspension was 6 months and it’s been 6 months since the end of the last season (not counting the musical), but honestly, I hate Trout. Everyone hates Trout. Vick, while funny, was a professional too. Trout is a joke. He’d never be elected dog catcher, much less be given a job as a police commissioner. Get rid of him, seriously.
Sleepy Hollow #1×12/#1×13 – “The Indispensable Man” / “Bad Blood” – I was going to do this as two separate reviews but honestly, I found it hard to remember what elements went into which part and since it was so inter-related, I figured I’d just do one long review. At the end of the last episode, Ichabod cracked the secret of the Washington Bible, Washington had left invisible messages on the pages meant for Ichabod. One mystery was that the passage they had found was dated 4 days after Washington died. They’ve been puzzling over this ever since and not getting very far. I love Ichabod’s voice mail message. “Please leave your name and an address where I can reach you…” Ha! And then he wants his phone upgraded because Abby got one, he’s fitting in quite well in the modern world. Pez-head boy Andy shows up in Abby’s kitchen and begs her to turn over the Bible to him. He says that Molloch wants to prevent Ichabod from finding a map that the Bible would lead him to and also that Ichabod was going to screw over Abby and leave her to die, something that Ichabod himself reported that Molloch had told him. However, Abby doesn’t buy it and goes to see Ichabod at his cabin in the woods. Ichabod, meanwhile, had found a discrepancy. He remembered Washington telling him about Lazarus and when he went to look up the Lazarus myth in the Bible, he found an extra 10 verses, indicating that there was something hidden here. They did the invisible ink trick and found that Washington recorded something specifically for Ichabod. It turns out that Washington was ill and dying of a rare disease, but after he died, the Masons brought him back to life. Zombie-Washington! Woo hoo! So it really was 4 days after he died… the first time… that he wrote that note. Washington said that since he had a unique position, being undead, he could see the path from the world of the living to purgatory. He had drawn a map that would lead them there, but no map was found in the Bible. Ichabod thinks that he can use the map, rescue Katrina and together they can fight against Molloch and the riders of the apocalypse. That’s great except they have no map. However, the priest that was killed early on by the Headless Horseman was, in fact, an ancient warlock who had attended Washington’s reanimation and it was his rosary that did the trick, but since animating the dead is a sin against God, those beads must be loaded with sin and they just so happen to know someone that sucks sin out of stuff, the sin eater. So they call in Henry Parish to learn more about the process. While all that is happening, Andy goes back to the sewers and apologizes to Molloch for screwing up with Abby. Now I’m not really sure how this all played out, but Andy begs Molloch to become his instrument, because, you know, Andy has been so effective so far, right? But Molloch grants his wishes and turns Andy into a hideous red veiny demon-thing. That’s certainly an improvement from his former Pez-dispenser self. Back in reality, Abby and Ichabod uncover the priest’s body and Parish grabs the beads, but there’s a hex and they burn his hand. He perseveres and gets a little information before he just can’t do it anymore and besides, they get attacked by demons that blow up when struck by bullets. What a bunch of wussy demons. At least it’s one more thing off Henry’s bucket list. They come to the conclusion that Washington must have been buried locally because he’d want the priest to keep an eye on his body, plus I don’t think they want to travel any great distances in the show. Because Washington was a Mason, he’d be buried with the map. they just have to find his remains. While all this is going on, Captain Irving’s life is going to hell. Internal affairs is questioning who killed Father Bolen in the last episode and are now taking DNA samples from everyone who was present at the scene of the crime. Of course, we know that his daughter, Macy did the deed, although in her defense, she was being possessed by a demon at the time. Irving tries to convince the investigators that “evil” did it, but they aren’t buying his story so he eventually just confesses to the murder himself. That’s all well and good, I suppose, but they’re still going to check DNA and find that Irving’s isn’t on the priest’s throat. That won’t sit well for the case, will it? They manage to find Washington’s real tomb and avoid the blatantly obvious traps, then they find that Washington is buried behind the Cincinnatus emblem on the wall. They all act smug about deciphering it, but come on, there are tracks on the floor for the coffin to slide out on, it can’t be that difficult. They recover the map, just as super-demon-Andy comes swinging in to get it. Demon possession doesn’t sit well with Andy, even though he’s promised Molloch not to fail yet again, he still stops and has loving words with Abby before she shoves a pipe through his head and then causes the whole tomb to come crashing down on him. Is this the last time we’ll see Andy? Hopefully not, I love John Cho. Abby tells Ichabod about Andy’s warning and Ichabod decides that it’s best to burn the map, rather than risk setting the dead free from purgatory. Of course, he immediately goes back to his cabin and redraws the map from memory. Parish calls them and tells them that there’s going to be an eclipse, just like the eclipse that happened the day that young Abby and Jenny encountered Molloch in the woods 13 years before, that must mean that he’s going to unleash the second horseman of the apocalypse! Irving tells everyone that, surprise, he made a new map, making the burning of the original one quite pointless, and that he’s found out that there’s an ancient leyline that points to the site where War will be “born”. Ichabod, Abby and Parish head off to the site while Jenny goes to do research on Corbin’s recorded journals. Jenny makes Abby promise to come back, which means there’s no way in hell Abby is coming back. Parish tells them that purgatory will try to trick them and if they eat or drink anything while there, they’ll be trapped forever. They go through the portal and almost immediately, both of them almost get tricked into eating or drinking something. Almost, but not quite. They meet up again in a cemetery where the damned stumble around. I guess there’s not a lot to do in purgatory. They need a disco. They find Katrina and she tells them that she cannot leave without her soul being forgiven, lest the boundary between purgatory and Earth be shattered. Wait, that’s not quite true, she can leave without her soul being forgiven if someone stays in her place. Why didn’t she start off that way? Ichabod volunteers, but Abby says it’s her destiny and Ichabod doesn’t argue too much. It wasn’t too long ago that he promised her that he’d never leave her behind, no matter what, wasn’t it? So Ichabod and Katrina go back through the portal to the real world while Abby runs around, chased by Molloch, until she stumbles into a doll house in the woods where young Abby and young Jenny live. They tell her that more happened to her during that day 13 years ago, but Molloch took away her memories to live in purgatory. She’s shown her stolen memories and learns that Molloch actually raised War 13 years before. Back in the real world, Jenny learns of an abandoned church, the one where Katrina gave birth to her son, but the church has no name, which Corbin thought was weird. Jenny goes driving out there to find out the scoop and discovers the name of the church on a sign. Horrified, she drives back to town, trying to get ahold of Abby, which won’t really work because they don’t get good cell service in purgatory. The Headless Horseman causes her to crash her SUV on the highway and we find out what the sign says: St. Henry’s Parish. Ichabod, Katrina and Parish find the site with the four white trees and Katrina is going to do a binding spell to keep War from being born, but there’s nothing there to bind. Parish reveals that he’s War and ties Ichabod and Katrina to the trees. The Headless Horseman rides up and Parish gives him Katrina, then reveals to Ichabod that not only is he War, he’s also Ichabod’s long lost son Jeremy, whose blood kept him alive, and apparently insane, in the grave for 200 years. Now he’s back, best buddies with Molloch and not only ready to end the world, but to seek revenge on his absentee father, who at least has an excuse, having spent those 200 years dead. Ichabod is thrown down into Jeremy’s former grave and buried alive. What happens next? We wait until next season! There are times when things just hit you in the face and that’s what we got here. I didn’t expect Parish to be Ichabod’s son. I certainly didn’t expect him to be the second horseman of the apocalypse too. I got completely blindsided, yet when you look back at it, all the signs were there all along, they even showed you how he had said things that, at the time, seemed to mean one thing, but in retrospect, meant something entirely different. Sleepy Hollow mixes just enough suspense, just enough action and just enough absurdity to make a great product. That silliness really is part of the appeal. Zombie Washington? Really? Ichabod trying to have a meaningful conversation with the On-Star Operator? Fistbumps in purgatory? All of that is great, but when it comes right down to it, they’re all serious about the job they’re supposed to be doing. It’s like a wink at the audience, saying “we know this is kind of silly but stick around because we’re serious when it counts”. That’s what makes Sleepy Hollow great and why I can’t wait for the second season.
Tomorrow People #1×10 – “The Citadel” – We get a quick recap of the last episode where Stephen “died” and was able to contact his father in limbo. His father told him to seek out Simon Plame and get his body back and that’s just what Stephen plans to do. Unfortunately, there’s more going on in Tomorrow People Land. We see an experimental prison facility for TPs where clearly, they’re being treated like guinea pigs. The guards put power-eliminating cuffs on the prisoners before they’re allowed out of their cages, but one prisoner, clearly pretty crazy, hacks off his own hand and gives it to another prisoner, such that he can be cuffed and still have his powers. Okay, I call foul here. The cages aren’t attached, they’re more like individual glass cylinders. How can one guy cut off his own hand without being seen (there’s nowhere to hide in those cylinders) and get it into another cylinder a couple of yards away, especially since the only opening in the cylinder is a sliding panel a foot tall that apparently, the prisoners can’t open from the inside? Cute idea, illogical execution. But anyhow, the now-free prisoner, Errol, gets out and teleports away. Cara is still pissed off at John and she thinks he’s misleading Stephen by giving him hope that his father is still alive. John admits that he lied and he wants to go public to all of the other Tomorrow People because that sounds like a good idea, right? He calls them all together, admits that he can kill, tells them that he shot Stephen’s father, but hey, it’s all good, right? They don’t think so, in fact, they call for a vote to see if Cara should be the new leader. Guess which way that goes. Stephen, meanwhile, finds out that his mother has a new boyfriend. He whispers to Luca, what would happen if their father suddenly came home? After a decade. Sure. Honestly, the meeting of the boyfriend and the sons reminded me of the same thing happening in the classic vampire flick “Fright Night”. Stephen goes to work and asks the new AI named “Alice” to give him all the information she has on Simon Plame, but the file has been flagged and Uncle Jed gets called. He wonders how Stephen learned of that name and he tells him about the research notes he found a couple of episodes ago. Of course, that’s a lie, his father told him about Plame, but Jed doesn’t need to know that. However, before they can go further, Jed learns of the Citadel breakout and sends Stephen and another agent to capture Errol at his old place of residence. He’s looking for his wife and doesn’t realize that he’s been locked up for a long, long time. They arrive and Errol is too tough for them, he’s able to “push” telepaths out of his mind, something only the strongest of telepaths can do, then he escapes. Too bad nobody bothered telling Stephen any of this, right? Cara, as her first official act, wants to capture Errol and use him against ULTRA. Just as ULTRA agents track him down, the Tomorrow People show up, kick everyone’s ass and take Errol back to their lair. Stephen, to avoid being detected as a double agent, takes a bullet to the shoulder. Errol isn’t quite all there but Cara tells him the truth about his wife, she moved to Phoenix and got remarried after thinking he was dead for a long time. She wants to get back into the Citadel and release the prisoners and Errol, with nothing else to do, agrees to help. John tells Cara that her plan is insane, especially since Jed is already worried about the security at the Citadel, it’s likely to be a fortress but she’s going to do it anyhow. However, the mission fails when troops show up and they’re only able to free a single girl named Charlotte and Errol gets a bullet between the eyes. Wait, aren’t you a telekinetic? Can’t you stop that bullet? Anyhow, Jed corners Cara and Charlotte and is going to shoot them until John shows up with a gun and an itchy trigger finger and they escape. Cara is so upset that she threatens to turn Morgan over to ULTRA but realizes that she can’t do it. Stephen, after being drugged to keep him from warning the Tomorrow People and also to dig that pesky bullet out of his shoulder, is met by Jed, who tells him that John would never shoot him in the shoulder and he suspects he’s working with them. Stephen gets mad at all the distrust, even though it’s completely justified, and demands to be told about Simon Plame. Jed does, he says that Plame tried to steal his father’s body and Jed killed him for it and cremated his father’s body to keep it safe. This does not make Stephen happy, but in talking about it later with John and Cara, they all agree that he never would have done such a thing. Stephen goes home and finds mom’s boyfriend, Peter, there. He tries to read his mind but gets “pushed” out. Clearly, he’s a powerful telepath who now knows Stephen’s secret. Now I’ll be honest, everyone and their brother ought to know that Stephen is a double-agent, he’s not all that covert about anything he does. We already know that ULTRA is ultra-paranoid, surely they have telepaths peeking into other people’s minds to see what they’re doing and since we now have established that only super-strong telepaths can block their thoughts and nobody can just keep focusing on a single innocuous thought all day long, they should have known everything almost from the start. Why they don’t, or if they do, why they don’t do something about it, I’ll never know.
Best of the Week: This week it goes to the season finale of Sleepy Hollow. Any show that completely blindsides me like that and the points out all the places that I should have see where they were going gets a lot of respect for me. This is a show that’s really come out of nowhere, been somewhat goofy, but has taken the world by storm. If you’re not watching it, give it a shot when it comes back in the fall.
Worst of the Week: While it wasn’t really awful per se, Helix gets the bottom slot for focusing so much on the stupid stuff that their characters do and having no announced end-game. They can’t just keep dragging this out, it makes no sense, yet Syfy won’t announce, at least that I’ve seen, if this is a mini-series or an ongoing.
Other Stuff I Watched: Mythbusters #11×01, Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1937), Charlie Chan – The Red Dragon (1945), The Hunt for Red October (1990)