The slow weeks continue and I figured out why they’re likely to continue, next month is the Winter Olympics. I don’t care about the Olympics at all, but you can be sure that a lot of shows, especially on NBC, where they will likely pre-empt their entire weekly schedule, are going to be hit and miss for the month. For other shows, February is sweeps month so we will see some returning, after having taken time off in January. I guess it’s a crap shoot.
Luckily, there was some really, really great TV this week. Read on!
Arrow #2×11 – “Blind Spot” – We’ve seen Laurel start to fall apart over the last couple of episodes but it really goes back to the end of last season when Tommy died. She’s started to drink heavily and take pills and clearly, even though she’s realized that the Arrow isn’t the bad guy, her head is definitely not screwed on straight. She started getting close to Sebastian Blood after Roy and Syn asked her to look into their friend’s death and she’s realized that he’s not what he appears to be. The fact is, Sebastian works for Slade and things are about to become very, very real. Last episode, Laurel visited Sebastian’s mother/aunt, Maya, in the mental hospital and we discovered that Sebastian actually killed his father and had his mother committed to keep her from spilling the secret. This week, Sebastian comes to see her and immediately, I knew she was dead. He has a very pointed conversation with her and then comes back in the middle of the night in his skull mask to finish her off. Laurel had asked the hospital staff to let her know if anything happened with Maya and they call and tell her that Maya’s heart gave out. Laurel goes to her boss, District Attorney Donner, to ask him for help, but there is no evidence that Blood is responsible for the death. Left with nowhere to turn, she goes to her father and asks him to set up a meeting with the Arrow where she passes him all of the evidence she’s gathered so far, including data on Max’s murder, Cyrus Gold and now his mother’s death. Even though Oliver is friends with Blood, he trusts Laurel and her instincts so agrees to look into it. Felicity finds that there’s a sealed juvenile file for Blood, but because there is no digital copy to hack into, Arrow and Laurel have to break into the police archives and find the file in person. Someone needs to tell the police how to organize. While Felicity knocks down the security cameras, Arrow and Laurel hunt for the file, but not all of the police are as stupid as usual, one gets the cameras back online and sends in reinforcements. Arrow fires a sparkly bolt and they get away but the file is empty, someone has gotten there first. Felicity reasons that Blood, a city alderman, would have access to the file room, he must be responsible. Diggle sees that Oliver is going after Blood, but he’s supposed to be Blood’s friend, shouldn’t he give Blood the benefit of the doubt? That’s just what Oliver does, he goes to Sebastian’s office and says he’s noticed Laurel acting strange and asks Blood to keep an eye on her. Blood says sure, he’ll “take care” of Laurel. Slade shows up at Sebastian’s campaign headquarters, carrying the missing file. He’s very angry that things have gotten out of hand and threatens to ruin Blood before the situation gets worse. Blood calls Officer Daly and puts him on the case. Laurel gets home and finds the door unlocked and her apartment ransacked. Officer Daly is there with a warrant, saying they found illegal drugs in her bedroom and arrests her. This is part of Sebastian’s plan to discredit anything Laurel has to say. Back at the precinct, Officer Lance comes in and says how disappointed he is with Laurel and won’t listen to anything she tells him. Oliver shows up and says he’ll make sure she gets home safely. If she could just go home, why was she arrested in the first place? Oliver tries to get Laurel to tell him what’s going on but she refuses. She asks for a glass of water and on the way to the kitchen, he gets knocked out and Laurel is kidnapped. There’s a note left for the Arrow, saying to come to the Starling Cannery alone. He arrives to find a man in a skull mask holding a gun to Laurel, but he distracts the gunman and they fight. Skull mask almost has the Arrow on the ropes when Laurel finds the dropped gun and puts a bunch of slugs into him. It turns out to be Officer Daly, not the expected Sebastian Blood. All of the crimes that Laurel suspected Blood of have been pinned on Daly and all charges against Laurel have been dropped, but Donner comes by to say congrats but you’re fired. They can’t have a drug abuser on the District Attorney staff. Oliver is upset because he actually suspected Blood. He says that Laurel has been a blind spot for him but he can no longer trust her. Sebastian goes back to Slade and tells him all of their troubles are over, Daly took the fall for them, but Slade is apparently not around. Then you hear his voice and he pops out of the darkness to kill all of Blood’s guards, wearing his Deathstroke mask for the first time. Damn, almost fell out of my chair! There’s a b-story here too. Roy reveals his new powers to Syn and she tells him that there’s a serial rapist in the Glades. Normally, she’d take it to the Arrow but she has her own superhero now so they decide to take care of it themselves. Roy asks Thea to help Syn dress slutty (yeah, that’s what you want to hear from your boyfriend, right?) and she gets picked up by a guy in an old car. Amazingly, even though she’s on a streetcorner with a bunch of hookers, she’s the one that gets picked up by the killer right away. The guy tries to stab her but Roy rips the door off of his car and almost beats the guy to death. Sorry, not feeling any sympathy for him at all. After all, Arrow used to kill sleazebags, why not Roy? But he feels guilty and calls the police and the guy survives on the way to the hospital. Roy and Syn are agonizing over the whole thing when Thea comes up and they tell her all about it, minus the superpowers bit. Roy can’t take it and rushes off into the night where he meets up with Arrow. Oliver knows what the drug can do to people and Roy says he’s out of control. Arrow offers to train Roy to be a hero and control his impulses. That’s the second time this episode I hit the floor. Oh yeah, on the island, Oliver and Sarah are looking for Slade, who has disappeared in a mirakuru-induced haze. Oliver apologizes for everything Sarah has been through and she admits that she’s always had a crush on him but Laurel found out and got her out of the way until Oliver and Laurel were together. After they fall asleep, Sarah steals the radio and calls Ivo, who begs her to come back, saying that she’s the one that saved him, not the other way around. She briefly considers it, then tells him that she’s disgusted by everything he’s done and she’d rather die than help him. Ivo says that he’ll hunt them down and kill them and after Sarah turns off the radio, she finds Oliver standing behind her, he’s heard the whole thing. She tells him that they need to find Slade so they can get off the island. Wow. Just wow. This show is great anyhow, but to have two massive nerdgasms in the same episode is just mindblowing. I knew I was going to love it when we saw Deathstroke for the first time, but to have it come out of the blue was amazing. Then, to have Arrow offer to train Roy, damn, now I can’t wait to see him in his Speedy costume in the actual show (they’ve shown pictures of it and it looks great). I love this show!
Dracula #1×10 – “Let There Be Light” – Well, this is it, the end of the first abbreviated season. There have been tons of different plot threads dangling all season, now it’s time to see if they can weave them all together. Mina goes to return Jonathan’s cross necklace. He asks her if she really loves Grayson and she can’t say no. He orders her to stay away from him but we know she won’t. Lady Jayne has brought in as many huntsmen as she can find, they’re going after every vampire in London tonight. They’ve also brought in a famous seer and with him, a religious relic, the Blood of Christ, which will allow him to see all the vampires in greater details. Lady Jayne dispatches the hunters in groups of two and three and tells them that when they make a kill, to fire a flare into the air. Meanwhile, Grayson is getting ready for the night’s performance, he’s invited tons of guests and his people are setting up lights around the town which will be powered by his wireless energy system. Grayson asks Renfield where Harker is, he hasn’t been seen for two days. Renfield doesn’t know but he’s to bring Harker directly to Grayson as soon as he’s found. Grayson goes to see Van Helsing for another daylight injection and while there, asks about Browning’s children. Van Helsing suggests they’re fine but doesn’t commit. That’s because Van Helsing is leaving town and he needs money and he sends one of the children’s fingers to their mother, along with a ransom note. She’s none too happy with Browning and orders him to get her children back. Van Helsing is none too happy with Grayson, saying he’s ruined the plan, but Grayson says that it’s only his quick thinking that has gotten things back on track. Finally, Jonathan returns to the fold and tells Grayson that he’s the one who killed Davenport. This shocks Grayson but he says that if Jonathan can get through the day, he’ll be fine. He sends Jonathan off to work with the press and tells him to pull himself together. Of course, he doesn’t know that Jonathan works for the Order of the Dragon now and is trying to sabotage the exhibition. Renfield brings Jonathan and some reporters from the newspaper to take pictures of the equipment. Grayson has to talk to the crowd so he allows them, without having anyone standing guard. Bad idea, very bad idea. The atmosphere is electric as Grayson says he’ll drive the oil industry out of business and suggests he can just hire all of the workers. Inside though, Jonathan and his reporters fiddle around with the machine, setting it to overload. Kowalski, Grayson’s head engineer, almost catches them, but not finding anything immediately amiss, he sends them away. After they leave, one of the saboteurs tells Jonathan that it will cause a massive explosion and kill anyone in a one block radius. Jonathan knows that Mina will be there and rushes off to find her. As the time gets nearer, Grayson gets worried that Van Helsing hasn’t shown up yet, after all, he had promised to come and see their mutual enemies crushed before them. He sends Renfield out to find him, but Van Helsing is busy destroying his lab so that Grayson can never again walk in the sunshine. When Renfield finds him, Van Helsing stabs him, apparently killing him. Using the seer, the Order has good luck finding the various groups of vampires and sending up numerous flares. Browning arrives at Van Helsing’s lair where he is disarmed. Van Helsing asks if Browning recognizes him, having killed his children and Browning says no. Apparently, he’s done that sort of thing a lot. Van Helsing dumps him into the sewers where it’s revealed that his children have been turned into vampires using Dracula’s blood and they consume their father, a fitting end to him. Van Helsing lights the house on fire and walks away, a little upset that he had to kill the children, but not much. After much effort, the seer locates Dracula, on the waterfront, before a huge crowd of humans. Lady Jayne knows exactly who that is. She is given another religious relic, a golden dagger, with which to destroy Dracula and she heads out into the night. The demonstrate starts off well, impressing the crowd, until Jonathan rushes up on stage and whispers to Grayson that the generator is rigged to explode. They try to shut down the generators but they refuse to shut off, Grayson rushes off to try to stop them but it’s too late and there is a massive explosion that destroys the factory and kills who knows how many people. Lady Jayne arrives to a pile of twisted wreckage. She knows Dracula is still alive and searches the rubble, finally finding Grayson. He says she always knew who he was. They fight, but Grayson is too strong for her and eventually, Jayne is impaled on a spike. She begs Grayson to kill her and not turn her into a vampire, which after a little consideration, he does. Mina gets back to Carfax Manor, searching for Grayson. He’s not there, having been a bit busy killing Jayne, but she sees the painting of Ilona and recognizes her immediately. Grayson arrives and embraces her and off the bed they go. Van Helsing is back at his house, packing when Jonathan arrives. Van Helsing tells Jonathan that he’ll teach him everything he needs to know to kill Grayson and that the first thing he needs to learn is that Grayson is really Dracula. And oh yeah, Lucy is now a vampire and she sucks her mother dry. Not exactly a big surprise but nice to see nonetheless. Now I’ve liked this series from the start, even though there have been a few lackluster episodes, but this was a really good ending. Instead of leaving a bunch of plotlines on the floor for a second season, assuming the show gets one, they tied most of them up in a neat little bow. Oh sure, we don’t know about Lucy’s ultimate fate or Jonathan and Van Helsing’s plan, but the rest is good. We know about Grayson and Mina. We know about the resonator. We know about the Order. We know about Lady Jayne. Very neat and tidy, if I do say so myself. I really hated seeing Renfield die, he was one of the best characters in the show and maybe they’ll find a way to bring him back. Browning? Big deal, he got what he deservered. Lady Jayne? Sad, I liked her, but she had a limited shelf life anyhow. Van Helsing was somewhat of a surprise, but I can see that Grayson played fast and loose with their agreement. So what happens in a potential second season? I really don’t know. Grayson’s business in London is clearly done. They can flee back to America or elsewhere in the world and start over, but what happens next? Does Mina get turned? How else could she be with Grayson and not notice he no longer goes out during the day? These are all questions I really want to know the answer to. Come on NBC, do the right thing!
Helix #1×04 – “Single Strand” – So far, this has been a show I’ve tried a lot to like but it’s not making it easy. Between bad decisions at every turn, stupid characters and way too convenient plot developments, the smart premise isn’t remaining all that smart. This week, all of the supposedly infected down on Level R are not at all happy about being abandoned, but they know a lot about the research station and realize that the oxygen scrubbers for the entire facility run through their level. They can turn off the fresh oxygen to the entire base and then be able to negotiate with Hatake for their release. Not a bad idea, to be honest, although it’s a completely bad design feature. After all, Level R was supposed to be a nuclear test facility, the idea of having such a critical part of the atmospheric system only on that level with no redundancy anywhere else seems particularly foolish. Upstairs, Hatake, Daniel and Alan are talking about the communications array that Sergio blew up last week. Daniel says it can’t be repaired, they have to wait until someone comes by to check on them. My, yet another great system with no backups. Hatake says they should just leave everyone downstairs to die, he doesn’t have the supplies or facilities to care for them all over the long term. Sarah is in her quarters taking her medication, but a knock on the door causes her to drop most of them down the drain. Another woman, who thinks she may have been infected, comes in and begs to be tested, so Sarah does and she comes up negative. Of course, we know that the test doesn’t really work anyhow so that doesn’t mean anything. Finally, we see Sergio and Doreen reporting to Alan. They’re still keeping the herd of frozen monkeys a secret but he sends them back to keep figuring things out. Alan then talks to Dr. Duchamp who came up with the magical anti-viral medication that kills you 75% of the time. He wants to try some on his brother, who is going to die anyhow so it’s not a big loss if it doesn’t work. Alan says that, in the absence of Peter being able to coherently give consent, Alan is next of kin, so there. Hatake meets up with Sergio and he’s not happy that he took out their only means of communication with the outside world. Sergio says that their mutual employers wouldn’t be happy if word of this outbreak got out so, you gotta do what you gotta do. The debate is cut short when the alarms start going off, the oxygen scrubbers are off and people aren’t happy. They look at schematics of the base and find that there’s nothing they can do, bad design and bad writing put them into this situation. Duchamp grudgingly gives Peter the treatment and even though he dances around in the bed a little, the treatment works, at least for the moment. Doreen and Sergio are talking and Sergio tells her that he’s part of a top-secret military mission from the Pentagon, sent to discover if the virus was a weapon. It seems rather silly since the virus makes the enemy that it would ostensibly be used on stronger, at least in the short term, so what’s going on? He just so happens to remember something he heard, maybe that the virus is part of an advanced biological delivery system that would alter people’s genes? Doreen decides it sounds about right and runs some tests. Julia, who got thrown out of the Level R shelter for disagreeing with the plan, makes a lot of noise and gets attacked by one of the infected. She sees someone in a gas mask and together they escape, but not before smashing the infected person’s arm in the door. It takes some time for Julia to convince her savior to take off her mask, but they’re trapped together in a small room with no food. Out of the frying pan, as they say. Cut back to Alan sitting by Peter’s bedside. He wakes up but he only wants to talk about their abusive alcoholic father. We also find out that, what Alan thought was a one-time thing between Peter and his ex-wife was an ongoing affair, that’s why Peter came to the Arctic, to get away from her. Sure, that makes things better, doesn’t it? Sarah starts cutting her pills in half to make them last longer, but she’s a doctor and ought to know that doesn’t work at all. Her companion starts having hallucinations, which is a symptom of the virus and Sarah realizes that the test doesn’t work. We knew that already. The companion insists that Sarah do something that doesn’t involve locking her on Level R so Sarah goes out to find some drugs or something, after the companion, an oncologist, reveals that Sarah must have a cancerous tumor in her brain, which explains all of the symptoms we’ve seen. They agree to keep each other’s secrets, although I’m not sure why. “I have cancer” is quite a different secret to keep than “I’ve been infected by a horrible virus that makes me want to infect everyone around me with a viscious black goo.” While out, Sarah stops by and breaks the news to Alan that the test doesn’t work. He tells her to fix it. He doesn’t go help or anything. He’s sitting with Peter, chatting about the good old days though so who can blame him? Julia and her new friend Jaye go pounding on the quarantine door, demanding to be let in, but nobody wants to open up. The infected person from before hears them and comes to check things out. Duchamp tells Alan that the drug didn’t cure Peter and that he doesn’t have much time left. If there’s anything pressing he wants to know, now is the time. Alan goes back in there and about all he can get out of Peter is that Hatake is an asshole. We knew that. Then Alan flatlines and they try to bring him back but he’s in a coma and will probably never come out. Doreen and Sergio are working on the virus, she finds a mysterious protein that proves this is man-made. Further testing shows that there are genetic instructions in the virus that are supposed to be precisely delivered. Doreen says she’s got to tell Alan. Sergio says he’s got to kill Doreen. Guess who wins? Too bad, Doreen was about the only character in this show that I really, really liked. Sarah finds a bunch of morphine and takes it back to her room where she shoots up both herself and her friend. At least they stop talking about stupid stuff. Jaye tells Julia that Hatake has some emergency stores of food around somewhere. They find it. It’s Cheese Whiz. Seriously? Hatake and Daniel decide to go down to Level R and negotiate via a hidden staircase in Hatake’s office. Quite convenient. They go down and meet three of the conspirators and Hatake gives a stirring speech about everyone being in this together, at which point they turn the oxygen scrubbers back on and Hatake kills them. He sends Daniel back upstairs, there’s something he has to do. He passes an infected person in the hall and nothing happens, are we supposed to believe that the infection gives them a respect and admiration for Hatake? Seriously? I hate that Doreen died, even though I was critical of her accent in the first episode. There are quite a few mysteries introduced this week. First off, Peter told Alan that Hatake was very interested in Julia and now that Julia’s on site, he still is. Why? We now know that the virus is not only man-made, but designed to insert strange genes into the infected. Why? For what purpose? We know Sergio and Hatake work for the same people but who are they and what do they want? And what is this virus supposed to do and why would anyone want them to do it? I guess we’ll have to keep watching and see.
Intelligence #1×04 – “Secrets of the Secret Service” – At last, an episode where they don’t feel like they’re wrapping up the series! Two journalists are arrested in Syria by terrorists and charged with being spies. They are scheduled to be executed, but not if Gabriel and Riley get there first. There’s no information available on the building where they’re being held so the chip in Gabriel’s head doesn’t do a lot of good in the planning phase and he wonders why a former President would allow two covert operatives to go on his personal diplomatic mission into Syria to negotiate for the release of the journalists. Yeah, I don’t get it either, even with his speech about wanting to stop a war. Anyhow, former President Finnegan, the man who signed off on Project Clockwork, although nobody seems to know that and everyone seems so impressed that there’s no digital fingerprint of the program, has never met Gabriel, apparently he was out of office before Clockwork actually got underway. He integrates Gabriel and Riley into his security detail, including Agent Griffin, who Riley was once involved with. They land in Damascus where the negotiations are being held and the plan is to have Riley, Gabriel and another Cybercom agent, pretending to be a doctor, go and check on the journalists while Finnegan tries to get them out diplomatically. When they arrive at the site of the negotiations though, Gabriel looks around and tells Finnegan that they’re not serious about negotiations, they’ve sent a bunch of mad dog killers and crazies to the negotiating table and then Gabriel and Riley just walk away, leaving a former President with a bunch of nutballs. Sure, swift move there. Granted, he’s not that important anymore, but given a choice between keeping two journalists hostage and a former American President, who do you think terrorists would pick? What’s the more valuable target? Anyhow, they go over to the place the journalists are being held and are put into a room while the journalists are cleaned up so they can be brought for examination. Gabriel talks openly about their plan because, I guess the Syrians have never heard of microphones. In fact, they have a wireless camera in the room that Gabriel can block, but how can he know there are no other recording devices? He maps the lay of the land using the Syrian cameras, which apparently cover every square millimeter of the facility (look at the map) and then Gabriel leaves to find the journalists. Now wait a minute, they were supposed to be bringing the journalists up to see the “doctor”, what’s going to happen when a guard comes back or whatever and notices someone is missing? How do they explain that away? Anyhow, Gabriel makes it down to the journalists who turn out not to be journalists but CIA agents, sent on a deep-cover mission to find a scientist who is supposed to be building a missile guidance system for Syria, without which they can’t hit the broad side of a barn. They refuse to leave until the scientist is found and therefore, Gabriel leaves them there and heads out with the password for a top secret CIA online drop box. There, they find crowd pictures from an open air bazaar in which their scientist must be found and Gabriel uses his virtual crime scene software to check them all out. This always made me wonder, what happens if Gabriel is in a small room when he does this? How does he avoid bumping into walls or falling over furniture? Anyhow, he finds her and with Riley’s help, they hunt her down walking around the same bazaar the next day. Gabriel makes phone calls to distract her handlers and Riley makes contact, apparently the woman, Susan Hawkins, married a Syrian dissident and they had a daughter and she won’t leave without her kid, Now they have a different problem, Riley walks into the girl’s school to take her out early and Gabriel plays daddy to give permission and away they go with mom and daughter in tow. However, Gabriel refuses to leave without the “journalists” and goes back to the prison, but security has been tightened so there’s no way to get in. Gabriel sounds all the alarms and they bring them out for transport elsewhere and Gabriel, driving the ex-President’s armored limo, stops them in the street and recovers one of the “journalists”, the other one didn’t make it. They go back to the plane and take off for home. How did that happen, exactly? After all, if there was this huge security alert going on, would Syria let them take off? It looked like the plane landed out in a field somewhere, something that big requires a pretty substantial airport, not a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and I would assume that if these were Syrian terrorists, they’d have their own armed detail near the plane. yet apparently there were none. Back in America, Lillian Strand goes to see Phillip Broyles… wait, CIA Director Tetazoo and learns that the CIA had basically erased the existence of Hawkins, this was a mission to kill her, not to rescue her. In fact, the rescued “journalist” on the plane tries to kill her, just to make that point. Now, Tetazoo and the President are worried that because Gabriel went back after his agents, that he could be a loose cannon and they want checks and balances to ensure he does as he’s told. Now wait a minute, are we seriously supposed to think that this idea was never raised before they stuck a chip in his head? Nobody thought that putting the chip into the head of a man whose job has been thinking on his feet might not result in a man who can still think on his feet and does his own thing? Seriously? This was a better episode of Intelligence because it didn’t feel like a desperate attempt to get attention like the previous few, but I’m not sure I like them making the CIA out to be the bad guys. I also don’t especially like them making Strand into a doe-eyed, trusting sycophant. She’s been in the government for a long time before she took over CyberCom, she ought to know that she can’t trust anyone. And speaking of trust, I do not want them to ever, repeat, ever try to get Gabriel and Riley together in any kind of romantic situation, ever. Did I say ever? Ever.
Murdoch Mysteries #7×13 – “The Murdoch Sting” – When the president of a major bank goes missing, Murdoch is called in to solve the case. He’s apparently run away with his fiancee, a woman who claims to be the daughter of Andrew Carnegie, but he shows up and says it’s all rubbish, his only child is 4 and certainly she’s not getting married. So is this a case of a scam gone bad or a misunderstanding, or maybe Carnegie doesn’t remember or isn’t aware of fathering a child at some time in his past? It turns out to be a scam from our old friend Eva Pearce, who got away with murder in her last encounter with the Toronto Constabulary and now is clearly trying to screw a wealthy man out of his fortune. Well, not just scam him of his riches, but of his life, as his body is found in a lake and Dr. Grace can’t determine time of death or any clues as to the murder from the remains. Pearce is pretending to be Cassandra Crawford in her scheme, but when the real Cassandra Crawford shows up from Ohio to complain that someone has stolen her identity and her good name, that makes two charges against Ms. Pearce. However, they can’t tie her to the crime and since she hasn’t done anything directly against Mrs. Crawford, they have to catch her in the act. Luckily. Mrs. Crawford was a scam artist herself before she settled down and became respectable so she offers her services to the police to draw Pearce out into the open. They concoct an elaborate plan to fool Pearce into thinking she won’t get the inheritance for 7 years because the banker’s body hasn’t been found, hoping she’ll go to the lake and they can catch her with the body red handed. She’s not that foolish though so they invent a French former lover for the banker, played by Dr. Grace, upon whom they plan to blame the murder, thereby making Pearce more likely to seek out the body. In the midst of her role, Dr. Grace runs into Leslie Garland and, to keep him from blowing the whole thing, kisses him, disturbing George badly. They have it out and George, thinking that she’s far too interested in Garland, breaks it off with her. To be honest, I think he’s perfectly justified, Emily has spent far too much time with Garland and has certainly not set the proper boundaries. It’s even taken George to tell him to back off and he doesn’t listen. Granted, I think George needed to grow a pair and tell her how he really feels, it’s a mess no matter how you look at it. Anyhow, eventually Pearce sends an anonymous note to the police telling them where the banker’s body can be found, in hopes that this will let her get her hands on his money faster, but they pretend that they went and looked and there was no body. Dr. Grace’s French lover meets a grisly end and the police claim they’re hanging the murder on her and closing the case, which gives Pearce time to get out to the lake and look for the body, where she’s caught doing so by Murdoch. Finally, she gets her well-deserved justice. All this time, Julia, having received the letter from Gillies in the last episode, has been tracking his movements and she finds various clues along the way where Gillies explains his motivations for his actions and reveals that he’s once again, several steps ahead of Julia. He tells her, in a letter, that if she doesn’t stop looking for him, he’ll kill her and Murdoch. Yeah, right. So in the end, when George reveals that he isn’t with Emily any longer, Inspector Brackenreid tells him he’s an idiot and he should fight for the woman he love. He rushes off and Murdoch says he’s right, he’s going to propose to Julia. He rushes to her house, just as she’s getting home and gets down on one knee and proposes but she says no, knowing that if she accepts, Gillies will try to kill them both. She runs into the house and bolts the door, with Murdoch banging on it to be let in. I’ll be honest, the relationship stuff has gotten very, very old and it’s little better than shows in the U.S. where an endless series of coincidences and bad writing keep the characters apart. Stop it. You’re better than this! It shouldn’t have taken 7 years for Murdoch and Julia to get together and it shouldn’t have taken 2 for George and Emily to do it. Enough is enough! And someone shoot James Gillies in the head, please, that’s completely played out too. Worse yet, Murdoch takes a *MONTH* off because of the stupid Olympics? Oh brother!
Psych #8×03 – “Remake A.K.A. Cloudy… With a Chance of Improvement” – In a call back and pseudo-remake of an early episode, we see a case from 2006. Yes, 2006. They tell you so a couple of times. We start with young Henry sitting in a courtroom explaining to baby Shawn that one day, he’ll make his old man proud to walk up the steps to the courthouse. That’s called foreshadowing, son. Shawn and Gus go to the courthouse because Shawn’s motorcycle has been impounded. They talk about remakes and criticize movies like The Dukes of Hazzard and the Bad News Bears. They meet up with a young woman sitting on a bench and Gus tries to hit on her, but a nervous man leads her away. Later, on the news, they see a report of the murder of prominent local weatherman Jackson Hale and the prosecution of Sandra Panitch, the woman they saw in the courthouse. Inspired, they rush back to the courthouse and offer their services to Panitch’s inept lawyer, Adam Hornstock, who is so clueless that he accepts. Thus starts the madhouse that most Psych episodes become. Hornstock is glad that Shawn and Gus are helping, and pro-bono too. After all, Gus is trying to impress the pretty girl, but Jules and Lassiter, who weren’t in the original season 1 episode, are less than impressed. They’re the ones that made the arrest, but Shawn, in an odd bit of foreshadowing, predicts that he and Jules will become romantically involved, while she tells him there’s no way in hell. Shawn and Gus go on a talk show with obnoxious husband and wife anchors. They were friends of Hale and just want to get to the bottom of things, and besides, there’s no such thing as a psychic detective! Shawn tells them that their marriage is on the outs and he’s living in a motel, which makes them both a bit nervous. After the interview, they go on a studio tour, led by “roving reporter” and weatherman hopeful Ruben Leonard. Shawn identifies Leonard as their prime suspect. They have Hornstock call Leonard to the stand and, using post-it notes, drive Leonard to admitting that he’s a more qualified weatherman than Hale was and that someone should have stabbed him a long time ago. They go back to the station and investigate Leonard’s office and Shawn finds a knife in the ceiling panels. He calls Lassiter and Jules in, but he runs into his father, who says that he doesn’t want Shawn making a fool of both of them. Shawn says that he’s only doing what his father trained him to do and wants him to be proud. Then Shawn does his psychic bit and reveals the knife. Lassie rushes to the set where Leonard is utterly failing to be a weatherman and then he drops dead. While the body is being carted away, Shawn gets an idea, maybe instead of looking at the women that Hale, a known womanizer, slept with, maybe they should start looking at the only woman around that he didn’t. They call Hale’s assistant to the stand and through theatrics, get her to admit that she was in love with Hale and was upset that he never gave her the time of day. Just as Shawn, Gus and Hornstock are about to declare victory, they find that she couldn’t have done it because at the time of the murder, she was in bed with later-Psych-coroner Woody Strode. Things go from bad to worse as the prosecution presents a video tape of the murder, made in front of the weather green screen, which clearly shows their client and Hale getting down on the floor, followed by hacking and gurgling sounds. Hornstock asks for a recess and sends Shawn and Gus to figure something out. Shawn, at first, comes up with nothing and sends Gus back to the courtroom to stall, which he does until he gets dragged off by the bailiff. Then Shawn notices something in the video tape and goes back into court where the husband of the husband/wife anchor team is on the stand. Shawn proposes that he killed Hale because he suspected that his wife was having an affair with him, but there’s nothing on the tape to prove that, or is there? The man was wearing a green costume and was therefore invisible against the green screen chroma key. However, what he didn’t know is that his huge pinky ring had ripped the costume and could be seen in the video. He finally admits that he did it, they win the case and everyone hugs, including Shawn and Juliette. Henry gets up and walks out of the courtroom, then turns and smiles to Shawn, proud of what Shawn has accomplished. Afterwards, Hornstock meets up with the guys at the Psych office and asks Shawn’s permission to ask Jules out. Shawn says fine, but when Gus reminds him he’s not really psychic, he runs after Hornstock to stop him. This was a great way to get the cast that we know and love back, the season so far hasn’t felt like Psych and it’s wonderful to see everyone acting like we want them to act, plus a bunch of references to events that will take place in the “future”, at least from their 2006 perspective. There is an amazing use of guest stars in this episode as well. The dead man was played by Dana Ashbrook, who played the boyfriend of murder victim Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks. Palmer’s father, Leland, was played by Ray Wise, who played the judge in Psych. Both Ashbrook and Wise were in a previous episode of Psych, Dual Spires, which was itself an homage to Twin Peaks. More? When Shawn sends Gus back into the courtroom to stall, Gus does a bit from My Cousin Vinny. Ralph Macchio, who was in My Cousin Vinny, as well as the Karate Kid movies, played the prosecuting lawyer. More? In that same scene, Gus was “escorted” out of the courtroom by Ed Lover playing the bailiff. Lover was, of course, a major part of the season 6 episode “Last Night Gus”. I don’t think anyone has been happy with season 8 so far and I hope they fix it right away, but this was a great throwback to when Psych was great and I’m taking it as a sign that the creators have figured out that something is wrong and are working hard to put it back together the way it ought to be. Psych didn’t become USA’s longest-running drama for nothing, you know.
Tomorrow People #1×11 – “Rumble” – At the end of the previous episode, and I realize I start a lot of reviews like that, they rescued Charlotte, a young Tommorow Person that was held captive as a guinea pig at ULTRA’s Citadel. However, Charlotte is having trouble fitting in, she has nightmares and her telepathic powers hurt everyone around her when she psychically screams. Cara doesn’t know what to do and there are rumblings that the others want to dump Charlotte on the streets. John, having been through ULTRA’s tender, loving care, offers to take care of Charlotte and try to help her cope. The rest of the TPs aren’t really happy with Cara’s leadership at the moment, but John says to keep trying, they’ll eventually come around. We find out that Julian, a troublemaking breakout is back in town. He and his girlfriend Nelly were the first TPs that Cara ran into after she went on the run. Julian has a hatred for humans, who he considers weak, and he has no problem beating them up and stealing from them. Cara warns everyone that Julian is serious trouble and she goes to tell Julian to hit the road before ULTRA, which has gotten much stronger since he’s been gone, but he refuses. Seriously, is ULTRA just a local group? It’s been suggested that ULTRA is part of the government, but we’ve never seen them outside of this small area. Maybe Julian left the country? I don’t think that was even suggested though. Anyhow, things are not good in the ULTRA camp either, it turns out that any of the TPs that fail agent training get their powers lobotomized. Jed is a serious dick, he tells the trainees that if he had his way, he’d scour all of their powers but he needs them so they’d better perform or else. The training program clearly pushes them to screw each other over and be the sole victor. Yeah, sign me up. We see a flashback where Cara, Julian and Nelly are breaking into a wealthy house, but the owner comes back and Julian beats the crap out of him and ties him up while he and Nelly ransack the house. The man begs Cara to release him, he says he has a bad heart and just wants to leave. Cara, sucker that she is, complies and the guy runs off, grabs a shotgun and kills Nelly. Cara feels somewhat responsible for the monster that Julian has turned into, but he was well on his way before she ever met him. She assigns Russell to keep an eye on Julian, but it turns out that Julian is building his own army of TPs and they plan to attack a wealthy building downtown and, if Cara knows Julian, to beat anyone inside within an inch of their lives. Cara tells Stephen about the plans and he teleports in to take Julian out, but one of Stephen’s team, Hillary, comes along and spoils the raid. This is very bad timing for Russell, who was searching their hideout, coincidentally the same house where Nelly was killed, and Julian beats him badly, then invites the rest of his gang to do the same. They can’t kill him so they dump him for the TPs to find. Everyone is mad at Cara for allowing such a thing to happen, but she has another plan. Julian thinks she’s weak and that’s Julian’s weakness. She breaks into their hideout and confronts Julian and his gang, then the rest of the TPs teleport in and there’s a huge brawl. Rumble is a very appropriate name for the episode. Cara fights against Julian and everything is chaotic until the TPs start to teleport away, leaving Cara apparently cornered. However, that was her plan, she teleports, revealing Charlotte, who uses her psychic powers to knock all of Julian’s gang out, just as Stephen’s ULTRA team breaks in and cuffs everyone. Julian and his new girlfriend are trapped, but Julian, darts in his shoulder, sacrifices his girlfriend by throwing her at Stephen as he teleports away. With so many rogue breakouts captured, Jed has to admit that he’s proud of Stephen, but he says it was a team effort and they all contributed equally. Jed says he should weed out the weak early. Back underground, everyone is impressed, not only with Cara, but with Charlotte. She’s now officially part of the community and a great hero. Cara wonders how John made his decisions and he said by trial and error, mostly error. There are always mistakes made in a war. Stephen is also impressed with Cara and Tim suggests maybe Cara likes having the attention of two men. Later, Stephen and Astrid are walking to school and he tells her that so long as she’d not failing calculus, neither is he. She tells him not to read her mind and get the answers and they teleport to school, but Hillary is watching from the shadows. Is she trying to get ahead of Stephen in the rankings? After all, she did say he was “decent” for giving them all equal credit for the raid. Or, is she a spy? We just don’t know yet. At the very end, a young girl uses her powers to steal some food and she meets Julian, who tells her he wants to teach her some magic. He’s rebuilding his gang. Now we know that ULTRA is the series-long big bad of the show, but now they have to watch their backs because of Julian? How many enemies can they make? And honestly, I know I’ve said this before, but I am so sick of this stupid “Tomorrow People cannot kill” crap. Stephen shoots Julian with a dart gun, are we supposed to seriously think that he would be totally unable to pick up a regular gun and do the same thing? Seriously? That part of the plot really, really pisses me off. Could a Tomorrow Person not telekinetically push someone off a tall building? They could do it from a lower height, they did in this episode. Are we supposed to believe they couldn’t push them off a second story ledge onto a sharp object, but could do it if the object wasn’t there? What if they didn’t know the object was there? What are the limits of this? Please, explain exactly how this works! There’s no way this is a natural phenomenon, which is how their powers have been portrayed so far.
Best of the Week: This was never in question, Arrow was the first show I watched this week and I knew that it was the best from the very beginning. Amazing things happen in this show almost every week, I can’t wait until the next episode!
Worst of the Week: There isn’t a clear loser this week but I have to give it to Helix. It’s not that I hate the show, it has potential but it’s being squandered by bad writing and stupid characters doing things that make no sense, just for the sake of being obtuse. And, they killed Doreen this week, which make sit a loser all around.
Other Stuff I Watched: Charlie Chan: Beyond that Curtain (1929), Charlie Chan Carries On (1931, Spanish), Charlie Chan: Dead Men Tell (1941), Charlie Chan in Rio (1941), Charlie Chan: The Scarlet Clue (1945), Mythbusters #12×03-12×04
Note on Charlie Chan: Beyond that Curtain – This is the first Charlie Chan movie produced by Fox Studios and stars the only actual Asian actor, played by Korean American actor E. L. Park, in the series. It was made right after the end of the silent-film era, which really explains why the movie is as poor as it is. First off, Charlie Chan is hardly in the film at all, he’s mentioned once early on and then Park appears in the last 10 minutes of the movie. My immediate comment, after seeing the first few minutes, is “they made this before they invented acting”. Honestly, and I know that the actors were not used to having to talk in movies, but the acting was just horrible, I’ve seen school plays that were better acted than this. I’d be curious to see the other two earlier silent films in the series, The House Without a Key and The Chinese Parrot, but they’ve both been lost to the sands of time.